On Feb 10th, 2022, VMware released VCF 4.4 with a new set of features and of course new software components in the Bill of Material(BoM). This new release brings a lot of new enhancements around lifecycle management, security, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise suite capabilities for AI/ML workloads. Before going into the details of new features, let’s look at the VCF 4.4 BoM. VMware vSphere 7.0 U3c, vSAN U3c, and NSX-T 18.104.22.168 are included in this software packaging. Besides the base SDDC software base, VCF 4.4 supports vRealize Suite 8.6.2 and Workspace ONE Access 3.3.6. So as you might expect the software releases packaged with VCF 4.4 are pretty up to date and more importantly Apache log4j is updated to 2.16 or 2.17 which addresses Log4j vulnerability.
Now let’s look at the highlights of new features and capabilities on VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4
On March 10th 2020, VMware released VMware Cloud Foundation(VCF) 4.0 along side a refresh on its other SDDC protofolio including vSphere 7.0, vSAN 7.0 and vRealize Suite 2019 latest release. By deploying VCF 4.0, you can take advantage of all the components that are included in the package and there are some features which only available with VCF 4.0. For example Kubernetes capabilities of vSphere 7 are only included as part of VCF 4.0 with Tanzu. Following you can find Bill of Materials(BoM) for VCF 4.0.
One of the new capabilities that have been added to VCF 4.0 is the possibility to use NSX-T in Management workload domains. Before VCF 4.0, Management workload domain had to use NSX-V as networking and security virtualization solution. NSX-T will also used as a defacto network and virtualization solution for VM and container workload. With use of NSX-T we have the option to bring up one NSX-T Management cluster that can serve many workload domains.
VCF 4.0 also supports latest update of vRealize Suite 2019 which includes;
vRealize Automation 8.1
vRealize Opertions 8.1
vRealize Log Insight 8.1
All the above products have the capability to operate based on container workloads beside normal VM workload. VCF SDDC Manage 4.0 together with vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 8.1 will automate the process of lifecycle management for both VCF core components and also vRealize suite components.
VMware Cloud Foundation(VCF) is VMware’s integrated SDDC platform for private and hybrid cloud infrastructures. This software package integrates VMware’s Compute, Storage and Network Virtualization solutions with a centralized automated lifecycle management tool call SDDC Manager. The core components of VCF are vSphere (Compute), vSAN (Storage) and NSX (Network & Security). VMware vRealize Suite can also be optionally added to VCF to increase the capability of SDDC infrastructure with performance & capacity Management and cloud management. Since VCF 3.8 beside running normal virtual machine workloads, you can also run containers with use of VMware Enterprise PKS.
To start implementing VCF at least seven ESXi hosts is needed, four for Management Workload Domain(WLD) which hosts infrastructure components of SDDC and another three host for running actual infrastructure WLD. These nodes can be vSAN ready nodes or you can take advantage of DellEMC’s VxRAIL platform and run more integrated Hyper-converged(HCI) platform. The Management WLD brought up with use of special virtual appliance call Cloud Builder. This awesome tool brings up four first nodes in management cluster alongside Platform Service Controllers(PSC), vCenter Servers, NSX manager & controllers and vRealize Log Insight. After the initial bring up process VCF infrastructure management will be done through SDDC Manager.
On January 14th 2020, VMware announced general availability of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 3.9.1. This new release supports new features such as Application Virtual Network (AVN), improvements to Cloud Builder, many resolved issues specially around NSX-T and also BOM updates.
Application Virtual Network (AVN) enables vRealize Suite deployment to use NSX overlay networks in addition to VLAN-backed port groups. New installation of VCF 3.9.1 can use AVNs for vRealize Suite components and if you upgrade VCF from a prior release to 3.9.1 and willing to use AVNs, VMware Support should be contacted. VMware Cloud Builder which is being used for bring-up process of VCF now includes several new workflows and also deployment report of bring-up phase.
Of Material(BOM), VCF 3.9.1 now supports vSphere and vSAN 6.7 Update 3b which
holds many security and bug fixes. If you are using NSX-V in your management or
VI workload domains, you can take advantage of NSX-V 6.4.6 and lastly VDI workload
domain will also upgraded to Horizon 7.10. Those who are using VCF on VxRAIL,
now VxRAIL Manager 4.7.410 is supported with this new release of VCF on VxRail