VMware Cloud Foundation overview

VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) provides an integrated software-defined data center (SDDC) stack that combines core infrastructure virtualization components. VCF provides a platform for traditional enterprise and cloud-based applications with access to automatic deployment options across the private and public cloud.

VCF provides the following features for a VxBlock System 1000 with VMware vSphere 7.0 and AMP Central with VMware vSAN:
  • Manages workloads on-site or in the cloud by extending the same infrastructure, operations, tools, and processes.
  • Provides automated delivery including compute, storage, networking, and management tools.
  • Ensures enterprise-level security with the full-stack platform that consolidates traditional VM and modern container workloads.
  • Faster deployments, automated configurations, and comprehensive management solutions for the VxBlock System and AMP Central from day 0 to 2.

VCF deployment

A VCF workload domain combines VMware vSphere compute, network, and storage resources into a single, consumable entity. VCF provides the deployment of the management domain and the virtual infrastructure (VI) workload domain. The management domain is required to host the management workload to support VCF. The VI workload domain supports the external business workloads. One management domain and up to 14 VI workload domains are supported on a VCF instance. VCF uses the management domain to combine VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, and VMware NSX-T Data Center to provide a standardized VVD architecture. The management domain is a cluster of physical hosts that contain management VMs and applications. VCF requires four or more medium or large AMP Central servers to deploy VCF.

VMware Cloud Builder deploys the management domain onto AMP Central with VMware vSAN in an integrated or stand-alone configuration. Once the management domain is deployed, VMware SDDC Manager can deploy and manage the VI workload domains.

VMware SDDC Manager provisions each VI workload domain and associated VMware vSphere clusters. The VI workload domain contains clusters of up to 96 physical hosts, which are managed by a dedicated VMware vCenter Server. VMware SDDC Manager automates day 0 to 2 tasks such as create, expand, or delete a VI workload domain. VCF supports up to 14 workload domains on the VxBlock System. VMware SDDC Manager also provisions private cloud resources on the VxBlock 1000 and monitors changes to the logical infrastructure, and adds life cycle management automation. Each release of VCF includes a VCF software bill of materials (BOM). The components in the BOM are interoperable and align to the VxBlock 1000 or AMP Central VCF RCM.

VCF supports the optional deployment of VMware NSX-T Data Center with virtual network segments in the management and VI workload domains. Virtual network segments are VMware NSX-T overlay-backed segments in the management and workload domains. Virtual networks segments are required for VMware NSX-T Data Center to support VMware vRealize Suite.

VMware tests all VCF components for interoperability and bundles them for downloads and installation. In addition, VMware SDDC Manager provides the installation order for management and workload domains with associated VMware ESXi clusters. Once VMware SDDC manager is deployed, VMware Cloud Builder is no longer used.

VCF components

The following table shows software-defined services for the VCF software stack:
Component Software-defined services
Storage VMware vSAN, vVols, and VMFS on FC
Network VMware NSX-T Data Center
Compute VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter Server
Security and cloud management VMware vRealize Suite (optional VMware professional services installed components)
The following table provides an overview of VCF components:
Component Description
VMware Cloud Builder Deploys the management domain onto AMP Central and automates the deployment of the VCF.
VMware SDDC Manager Deployed by VMware Cloud Builder to automate the configuration, provision, and upgrade the day-to day management and operations. VMware SDDC Manager automatically deploys VI workload domains onto the VxBlock 1000.
VMware vSphere

VMware ESXi

VMware vCenter Server

Transforms data centers into aggregated infrastructures that include CPU, storage, and networking resources into a unified operating environment. VMware vSphere provides administration tools for your data centers.
VMware vSAN Required for the deployment of the management domain. Aggregates local or direct attached storage to create a single storage pool. Multiple storage policies are supported.
VMware NSX-T Data Center Provides networking, security, automation, and operational management. VMware NSX-T instance is required in the management domain and at least one workload domain.
VMware vRealize Suite Delivers and manages infrastructure and applications for public and private clouds, multiple hypervisors, and physical infrastructure. The optional VMware vRealize Suite contains the following components:
  • VMware vRealize Log Insight
  • VMware vRealize Automation
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager

Virtual networks segments are required for VMware NSX-T Data Center to support VMware vRealize Suite. The virtual networks segments must be configured consistently across the management and VI workload domains. Virtual network segments can be configured as part of the initial deployment of VCF. Otherwise, engage with VMware Professional Services to deploy the VMware NSX-T Data Center with virtual networks segments.

VMware tests all of the VCF components for interoperability and bundles them for downloads and installation. VMware SDDC Manager provides the installation order for management and workload domains with associated VMware ESXi clusters.

VCF editions

VCF is available in multiple editions depending on the integrated components. See VCF 4 Edition Matrix for more information. VMware professional services is required to deploy VMware vRealize Suite components.

You can add software components that meet the compatibility requirements. The VCF edition provides the appropriate licenses for each component, except for the VMware vCenter Server. Obtain a separate VMware vCenter Server license to deploy multiple copies of VMware vSphere vCenter on the management and VI workload domain. You can obtain your VMware vCenter license from VMware or Dell Technologies.