If you know VMware technology then you’ll recognise its pivotal role in advancing virtualisation and being a building block for the cloud.
Over 20 years ago VMware started with virtualising physical servers and has progressively added more and more products and cloud solutions to their portfolio including virtual desktops, storage, networking, security, automation, management and, most recently, application containerisation.
Combining these components enables comprehensive platforms to be built. However, this can also increase the complexity organisations face in designing and delivering their own cloud model.
Q1 : What is VMware Cloud Foundation?
Q2: What challenges does VMware Cloud Foundation address?
Q3: What are the key use cases and drivers?
Q4 : What are the deployment options?
Q5: What is the entry level deployment size and how far does it scale?
Q6: What capabilities does VMware Cloud Foundation contain?
Q7: How is VMware Cloud Foundation licensed?
Q8: What hardware can it run on?
Q9: Does it integrate with existing VMware deployments?
This complexity can result in an extended research and design phase, ensuring the right product selection and validating compatibility and interoperability. Mistakes made at this architecture stage can quickly result in cost or delivery issues and unnecessary complexity once the solution finally lands in production.
VMware Cloud Foundation is designed to solve this problem by integrating the core VMware technologies into a standardised off-the-shelf solution, simplifying the deployment of an end-to-end set of certified hybrid cloud services. This fully featured platform also benefits from being continually developed and increasing in capability over time while maintaining the compatibility between individual components.
VMware Cloud Foundation scales in a modular way and also extends to integrate VMware services running on leading public cloud providers including AWS, Azure and Google. This flexible hybrid or multi-cloud capability allows organisations to select the best location to host their applications or key technology functions and evolve those decisions in line with changing business needs. The management tools and capabilities remain the same regardless of the approach adopted.
VMware provides editions of VMware Cloud Foundation designed to suit different business needs and levels of adoption. For example, the base starter package contains the components necessary to run, manage and secure a core cloud environment. Customers can start with the tier that best suits their needs, scaling their adoption and unlocking more advanced storage, networking, automation, and modern application capabilities when they are ready and benefits can be realised.
At its core, VMware Cloud Foundation is a private cloud platform containing a combination of VMware software technologies that have been designed and certified by VMware to all work and integrate together.
The platform is designed in the first instance to provide a standardised building block to enable organisations to introduce more advanced cloud capabilities and easily migrate from heritage vSphere environments. Adding storage, networking, security, automation and application capabilities to this foundation provides a route to the modern and flexible features that the VMware hybrid cloud platform offers.
Secondly, VMware Cloud Foundation has been designed as a foundation to extend to public cloud services, enabling hybrid cloud operating models from a consistent baseline. This is achieved using familiar standardised tools that can manage heterogenous cloud footprints wherever they exist.
Adopt cloud management in an on-premises data center with integrated Tanzu Standard and VM management.
Evolve the VMware-based cloud operating model with advanced cloud management tools and integrated Tanzu Standard and VM workload automation.
Implement a full enterprise cloud operating model with advanced management networking, and storage, optimised with integrated Tanzu Standard and VM workload automation.
Recognising that organisations are on different journeys, VMware Cloud Foundation is software that is packaged and licensed in 4 key editions, delivering capabilities from standard to advanced. This means that organisations can purchase at the level that works for their business today, delivering immediate benefit against clear business cases. When relevant, organisations can then continue to upgrade to different tiers, unlocking new capabilities as opportunities and further benefits are identified.
The packaged approach means that all the benefits of a certified integrated platform are maintained throughout its lifetime.
by eliminating complex processes around system design, testing, bring-up and configuration
by automating day two operations such as patching, updates, and monitoring
of private cloud
Beyond VMware Cloud Foundation’s technological value there are many broader business benefits for key roles in organisations.
Modernisation of the data centre with a consistent operating model across IT infrastructure to reduce silos, management overhead and costs.
A common foundation for deploying modern future-ready workforce solutions that take advantage of secure, scalable and automated capabilities of the platform.
VMware Cloud Foundation powers VMware Cloud offered inside leading public cloud providers.
Decouple applications from infrastructure to enable independence and mobility while leveraging the features of a common digital infrastructure platform to transition from old, or to develop new.
Once the tier has been selected, VMware Cloud Foundation can be deployed in 3 ways:
Each option requires different skills and experience to deploy, configure and operate effectively, and to support this process VMware operates an accreditation program for VMware Cloud Foundation partners who can support customers through these transformations.
VMware Cloud Foundation can be architected to be deployed in one of two different operating models – Consolidated and Standard.
Consolidated enables a minimum viable deployment consisting of 4 vSphere hosts, and is a good fit for low or mid-size requirements which have lower resource demands and scalability requirements, and any of the editions support these approaches.
The recommendation for the Standard deployment is to start with a minimum of 7 vSphere hosts which provides greater management resilience and performance protection.
Whatever the starting point, VMware Cloud Foundation can evolve and scale in line with VMware’s published product limitations and typically can meet the needs of the largest enterprises.
Each of the 4 key editions are targeted at different business needs and unlocks additional functionality. The following is a summary overview for each one.
It does not contain Tanzu, the modern application component, so the most logical use case would be as a starting point of a transition from an existing older VMware virtual infrastructure or deploying a new infrastructure.
VMware Cloud Foundation contains a number of individual software components, that each have their own product feature tiers and all tightly integrate with each other. To simplify purchasing VMware have created categorised Editions to suit the more common business needs and use cases.
The following table outlines each Edition, individual products and their feature tiers. Access to individual product features varies based on the license tier of each product, however individual license upgrades and add-ons can also be purchased as needed so you can customise up front or over time.
1. Components are offered as perpetual licenses unless specified, since the introduction of VMware Cloud Universal licensing VMware Cloud Foundation is also available as subscription
2. Tanzu component is offered as a term subscription and Tanzu Standard can be upgraded to Tanzu Advanced
3. All components included in VMware Cloud Foundation subscription are term subscriptions with the exception of vRealize Cloud Universal which is a SaaS offering
The Enterprise version contains additional enterprise level functions such as encrypted data-at-rest and data in transit (over the wire encryption), stretched cluster with local resilience, file services, HCI mesh (can bring together multiple vSAN islands), and data persistence.
The platform can run on certified server, storage and networking hardware configurations from many of the leading providers including Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Cisco, HPE, Lenovo and QCT. This enables organisations to benefit from existing hardware supplier relationships while retaining the flexibility to deploy and configure VMware Cloud Foundation themselves.
VMware Cloud Foundation is designed to co-exist and integrate with existing or legacy VMware environments. It also has functionality built in to simplify the migration process from those environments, typically reducing the cost of deployment and transition.
Xtravirt are a modern cloud consultancy and managed services provider. Whether you are at the beginning of a new journey with cloud and are seeking expert guidance, or have a plan and want to see it deployed quickly and without business disruption, we can help.
To explore the simplicity and functionality of VMware Cloud Foundation for yourself, book a demo within the Xtravirt Customer Experience Centre.