By Kurt Marko for Channel Partners Online
VMware today released Version 2.3 of its Cloud Foundation hybrid cloud platform featuring better integration with core compute, network, storage and application services; more automation and server support; and deeper integrations with partners including Dell EMC, Intel and Rackspace.
VMware was early to recognize the value of controlling virtual infrastructure resources as programmable software objects. The unveiling of its software-defined data center (SDDC) vision back in 2014 was driven by VMware executives realizing that the company’s core product, the hypervisor, had become a commodity, and that they needed to move higher up the infrastructure stack. SDDC slideware became a reality last year when VMware introduced Cloud Foundation, its platform for managing a full set of virtual compute, storage and network resources enabled by vSphere, VSAN and NSX, respectively.
Cloud Foundation initially focused on deploying and operating core infrastructure with features like the ability to deploy an integrated stack of VMs, storage volumes and virtual networks based on rules and templates. It also simplified day-to-day management with centrally automated patching and updates and enforcement of consistent security policies. Missing, however, were features to handle higher-level management of applications, costs, performance and logs, or any assistance with infrastructure design and capacity planning. For these, VMware offered a separate vRealize suite with components for application/service automation, ongoing infrastructure operations, log insights and business tools for usage metering, pricing and service costing.
With Cloud Foundation 2.3, VMware is better integrating the two into a comprehensive hybrid cloud management portfolio.
The new Cloud Foundation SDDC Manager can automatically install and configure three vRealize components: Automation 7.3, Operations 6.6 and Log Insight 4.3. VMware said in an analyst briefing that the combination will be the simplest way to deploy and operate standardized VMware Validated Designs that include reference templates employing VMware best practices for common enterprise scenarios.
VMware stresses the hybrid nature of Cloud Foundation, since the same infrastructure and application blueprints can be deployed to on-premises systems built from certified hardware or pre-integrated Cloud Foundation systems or on hosted services from VMware cloud service partners.
While the release of VMware on AWS has gotten the most attention, native VMware services are also available from CenturyLink, Fujitsu, IBM and OVH, which acquired VMware’s vCloud Air group, and Rackspace. On-premises deployments can use pre-integrated converged infrastructure like the Dell EMC vxRack or certified Cloud Foundation nodes from Cisco, HPE, Lenovo and Hitachi. VMware has also jointly developed Intel Select Solutions for VMware Cloud Foundation that incorporate the new Skylake-generation Xeon Scalable processors in certified designs that bootstrap the deployment of on-premises clouds.
Cloud Foundation 2.3 now supports a heterogeneous mix of servers within a rack, allowing partners to create hosted VMware services tailored to different workloads and customer needs.
Until recently, VMware was its only reference customer for Cloud Foundation; however, the company announced…