Cloud Foundation 50 Concepts - Part II

VCF 50 Concepts


This second post of the 50 VCF Concepts blog will cover the main concepts related to the general Infrastructure and the VI Workload Domain creation.

If you missed Part I of the series, I recommend you start there first.

Let's get started!

VCF Deployment: There are two types of Cloud Foundation Deployments. Those two Deployments are Single Site and Stretched.
It is also possible to describe a VCF Deployment using the term "VCF instance", especially when the VCF Deployment has finished.

VCF Architecture: There are two Architectures or ways to Deploy a Cloud Foundation: Consolidated and Standard.
The VCF Deployment can work without any VI Workload Domain (Consolidated) or (Standard) up to 14 VI Workload Domains.
Starting with a Consolidated Deployment will allow you to migrate from a Consolidated to a Standard Architecture.


VCF ArchitectureImage provided by VMware - VCF Design Guide


Region: Logical concept used to identify and group the components of a VCF Deployment. One Region equals one VCF Deployment, and it is possible to have a VCF Single Site or Stretched Deployment under the same Region.

Single Site Deployment: The Deployment of one VCF instance under one Region and on top of one physical Datacenter.

Stretched Deployment: The Deployment of one VCF instance under one Region using two AZ (Availability Zones) for Compute and Storage plus a Witness Site. The Stretched Deployment will help to increase the Availability using vSAN Stretched Cluster.

Availability Zone: Physical Datacenter or placement (like a building) with independent and redundant power supply, networking, compute and Storage. There is no rule for the distance between two AZs, but there are several requirements regarding networking to support a Stretched VCF Deployment such as no more than 5 ms round trip between AZ1 and AZ2.

(Old Concept, not valid since new subscription only mode) VCF+: Subscription offering of Cloud Foundation. It enables access to VMware Cloud Console to view multiple VCF instances.
When working with the subscription method, you won't use the perpetual licenses in the SDDC Manager.

(Old Concept, now "Disconnected mode" available) Cloud Gateway: You can see VMware Cloud Gateway or vCenter Cloud Gateway names for the same thing, and it is an on-prem virtual appliance that will provide the information needed to manage the subscription for VCF+ between your SDDC Manager and VMware Cloud Console.
When working with VCF+, you must manually deploy the Cloud Gateway on top of the vSphere Cluster in the Management Domain.

Network Pool: Network segment definitions for vMotion and, optionally, vSAN, NFS and iSCSI where you must define, per service level, the vLan ID, MTU, Network, Subnet Mask, Gateway and one or more IP Range.
The SDDC Manager will use these parameters for the network service configuration while deployment or scaling workflows work.

Best Practice: Use one Network Pool per vSphere Cluster. This way, you'll isolate the vMotion and, potentially, vSAN and NFS network segments per Cluster level.


VCF Network Pool

VCF Network Pool creation


Host Commissioning: Procedure that takes place in the SDDC Manager via UI or API, where you will add the ESXi Hosts to the inventory of the SDDC Manager. Once you have enough unused Hosts in the inventory of the SDDC Manager, you will be able to extend an existing vSphere Cluster, create a new vSphere Cluster in an existing VI Workload Domain or create a new VI Workload Domain.
The ESXi Hosts that will be part of the same Cluster must share the same Network Pool and Principal Storage.

Note: The recommendation is to use homogeneous hardware per Cluster level, considering network and storage devices.


VCF Host Commissioning

VCF Host Commissioning

Host inventory: The SDDC Manager holds a Host Inventory where you can see two types of Host states: Unnasigned and Assigned Hosts.
After you remove a Host from a Cluster, you must "clean" that Host before you can use it again.

Lifecycle Update Management method: Every time you create a VI Workload Domain, you must select the Lifecycle Update Management method that defines if you will use the legacy option based on Baselines (will be depreciated) or the choice based on Images.
You need to know that every single vSphere Cluster belonging to that VI Workload Domain will share the same Lifecycle Update Management method.

Note: depending on the VCF version, you can find a limit or requirement for the Update Management option.
For example, if you will Stretch a VI Workload Domain or need to deploy vSphere with Tanzu, then you must select Baseline as the Update Management method, and once you choose that option, you won't be able to change it.

Principal Storage: Every vSphere Cluster must have defined its Principal Storage. The available Principal Storage types are vSAN, NFS, vVOLs and VMFS. Depending on the Storage type, the SDDC Manager will automate the storage configuration while creating the vSphere Cluster.
All the ESXi Hosts of the vSphere Cluster must work with the same Principal Storage.
If you want to work with vSAN in that new vSphere Cluster, you must define vSAN as Principal Storage.

Supplemental Storage: Once the SDDC Manager creates the vSphere Cluster, you can "manually" configure additional Storage outside the SDDC Manager (using vCenter Server). This second Storage, called Supplemental Storage, can be NFS, VMFS or vVOL.

Note: If any of the Principal or Supplemental Storage options must use ethernet services (vmkernel port groups) to connect to the Storage server, you must define that service (NFS or iSCSI) in the Network Pool.


And finally, a simple MinMap to take a look at these concepts.

VCF 50 Concepts Mind Map

Part III is ready!

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