In case you missed it, VMware recently announced the VMware Validated Designs. What exactly is a VMware Validated Design? Well, think of it as a blueprint for implementing a Software-Defined Data Center. Here’s a link to a recent post on the VMware CTO Blog that introduces the VMware Validated Designs. In addition, here’s a link to a brief conceptual video that provides a nice overview as well.
In the announcement, they mention there will eventually be a number of validated designs made available, but out the gate as of today, there are two. One is called the “Data Center Foundation” and the other the “Single-Region IT Automation Cloud”. I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to these first two designs and help you understand their purpose and how they can be used to help you get started with implementing your own Software-Defined Data Center.
Data Center Foundation
The Data Center Foundation Reference Design is just that, a foundation. At the heart of every SDDC are the key tents of compute, storage and network virtualization. The Data Center Foundation Reference Design walks you through the steps necessary to implement and integrate each of these components in order to implement a highly robust and scalable foundation for your Software-Defined Data Center on top of which the other validated designs will be built. The Foundation design is implemented on industry-standard servers using vSphere with Operations Management (VSOM) and leverages VMware Virtual SAN to provide storage (also supports non-VSAN storage as well), and VMware NSX for network and security.
The Foundation validated design establishes a baseline for all higher-level VMware Validated Designs. The SDDC Foundation design implements a scalable, resilient, best-of-breed SDDC implementation on which additional functionality can be layered to enable additional SDDC Reference Architectures.
IT Automation Cloud
As I mentioned, the primary role of the Foundation Reference Design is to implement a foundation on top of which additional functionality can be added. The IT Automation Cloud Reference Design is a good example of this. All IT organizations have a common set of high-demand IT services that they must continually provide to their end-users. There are many benefits in being able to automate the provisioning of these basic IT services in a highly scalable and repeatable manner, while still maintaining full governance and control. And that’s exactly with the IT Automation Cloud Reference Design does – it builds on the Foundation Reference Design by adding the capabilities to enable policy based automation of basic IT services within the Software-Defined Data Center.
This is done by building out the Data Center Foundation Reference Design and then adding two additional components: vRealize Automation and vRealize Log Insight. These additional components are what allows IT to create blue-prints and enable the self-service policy-based automation capabilities of the Software-Defined Data center, together with centralized log aggregation.
An IT Automation Cloud enables an IT operations team to automate the provisioning of common repeatable requests allowing IT to respond to business needs with more agility and predictability.
That’s a quick introduction to the first two VMware Validated Reference Designs – the Data Center Foundation and the IT Automation Cloud. I encourage you to check out the respective white papers to learn more about these reference designs. Don’t forget to check back here for additional posts.