A major part of VMware Technical Account Manager (TAM) services is to make it easier for your company to do business with VMware. That takes many different forms, depending on the type of company and their business objectives with VMware. However, there is one thing every VMware customer needs to do, and it is very simple: they need to find and download the software they want to use! That seemingly simple task has gotten much more complex over the past several years as our software suites have grown and changed.
As an example, if you are an enterprise customer who wants to deploy a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC), and you have purchased our VMware vCloud Suite, you would have more than 100 items to choose from when you start looking at your downloads. Looking further into those items, you would have to choose carefully from more than 20 different download pages that go deeper into detail on some of the major downloadable items.
This year, VMware launched Software Manager to help customers find and download all the needed products in our Suites in a much easier and more consolidated way. With this tool, the task of finding and downloading all the items needed to create your SDDC is drastically simplified. New versions are detected automatically, and the file integrity of downloads is checked to ensure none of the files are corrupted. For your VMware vSphere data center or your SDDC, this free tool makes the management of your VMware software repository an easy task.
Once you have all the software, what’s next?
From the basic capacity details all the way up the stack, there are more than 200 key design decisions that have to be made to create your SDDC. There are nearly a dozen different reference architecture documents to evaluate from VMware and our partners to read and understand best practices for VMware ESX, VMware vCenter, the PSC, vROPs, VSAN, NSX, etc. These may not fit your environment exactly, so you may also have to further investigate how to best adapt those reference architectures to your environment. Once you have decided on an architecture, you will need to cross-reference several of our interoperability matrices to make sure all the versions of the items you plan to deploy will work well together.
Once all this is complete, the process of installation begins. You will work your way through hundreds of input fields and gather data from all over your environment. With all those steps behind you, your day 2 tasks can begin to transform your organization and your processes to support the SDDC.
The result of all this hard work is certainly worth it, but it also means that nearly every single customer has a unique environment. This of course makes adoption of the SDDC a somewhat difficult “sell” within some organizations, and makes support of those environments more difficult than some customers may like. To help alleviate these concerns and to make adoption of the SDDC model easier, VMware recently announced the VMware Validated Designs program.
To make SDDC more scalable, repeatable and predictable, it needs to be more standardized. If your organization wants to use hyper-converged infrastructure, VMware EVO:RAIL or VMware EVO:SDDC is a great way to approach this. However, if you want to build your own infrastructure, there is a need for a standardized, tested and validated set of blueprints. That is exactly the gap the Validated Designs program fills.
Each blueprint details the precise way to put all the various pieces of the SDDC together in order to build the strongest, most resilient infrastructure. Using our standardized, streamlined designs help you in three major ways:
- Reduces deployment risk
- Decreases time-to-value
- Makes it easy to manage day-to-day operations
When any single component of the design is upgraded, the design, guidelines and documentation all get upgraded as well. Patches are tested within these designs prior to release to ensure their compatibility. This program currently has four designs. Click through the first two links to access the reference architectures that are currently released.
- Data Center Foundation
- Single-Region IT Automation Cloud and Self-Service
- Dual-Region IT Automation Cloud and Self-Service
- QE/Demo Cloud
In each of these designs, you will find a common “POD” (point of delivery) structure where three logical PODs of management, edge network services, and compute infrastructure are leveraged to provide all needed services. Each design provides a high level of confidence that your SDDC vision will succeed, because with each design you now have our best practices, detailed test plans, measurement and optimization plans, deployment and operations guidelines, and continual validation per product release built right in.
These designs are available through documentation, VMware Professional Services Organization (PSO) delivery kits and certified partner architectures. Along with this launch, we have created an early access community under My VMware where you can access new documents, provide direct feedback, and help influence future designs.
Further information is available at the following locations:
VMware Validated Designs: