In today’s changing world, you need to modernize your applications while maintaining your traditional virtual machine (VM) environments. To manage infrastructure both on premises and in the cloud, you need solutions that extend infrastructure and operations to both private and public cloud spaces. NetApp partners with leading technology companies that want to solve the challenges facing our mutual customers. Join us in this new NetApp blog series as we cover the ways we can partner with you.
One solution we can help you use is VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). VCF is a set of technologies that give you a simple path to a hybrid cloud experience. The VCF solution supports both native Kubernetes and VM-based workloads. Services such as VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX-T Data Center, and VMware vRealize Cloud Management come with VCF. Together they give you a software-defined infrastructure that handles compute, storage, networking, security, and cloud management. You get a truly hybrid experience: VCF infrastructure extends your environment from your local data center to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Google Cloud.
Thanks to NetApp’s long-term partnership with VMware that has included joint innovations and validations, NetApp knows how to provide the enterprise-grade storage you need for VCF.
Here is our history together:
Using a storage system (decoupled from a hypervisor) that runs NetApp ONTAP® or Element® software, you get advanced storage features, centralized management, and host resources. You can focus on your application workloads rather than on back-end storage processing. NetApp is an industry leader with product offerings that give you the following advantages in VMware environments:
At the core of VCF are domains—logical groupings of physical resources that serve a particular role or workload. VCF has two types of domains: management domains and virtual infrastructure workload domains.
The management domain handles the control functions for VCF. Deployment of the management domain is handled by the VMware Cloud Builder appliance OVA, which uses VMware Validated Designs as its input. The management domain is deployed with a minimum of four ESXi hosts and includes the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Manager software. SDDC acts as the brains of the operation—providing deployment automation, monitoring, and lifecycle management functions.
The following components are installed as part of VCF:
The virtual infrastructure workload domains include VMware vSphere clusters, networking, and storage deployed for the operation of business-critical workloads. These domains are provisioned by SDDC (software-defined data center) Manager and are managed from an assigned VMware vCenter Server running in the management domain. Workload domains require a minimum of three ESXi hosts and are provisioned with principal storage during deployment. Supplemental storage can be added to any workload domain after deployment.
Here’s how the domains work:
VCF uses both principal storage, which is designated during domain creation, and supplemental storage, which can be added after domain creation to specify primary workloads, migration, backup, and archiving.
Principal storage for the management domain is provided by VMware vSAN upon initial deployment. Currently, with VCF 4.2, administrators can deploy workload domains using VMware vSAN, NFS, VMFS with Fibre Channel (FC), or VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols). With vVol-backed datastores, you can take advantage of Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) with NFS, iSCSI, or FC as the underlying storage protocol. Supplemental storage supports all of these protocols and provides additional support for iSCSI.
Here’s how principal and supplemental storage work with domains:
With ONTAP unified storage software, all storage protocols supported by VCF are available for both principal and supplemental storage. NetApp storage systems provide flexible and highly available storage solutions that integrate seamlessly into your VCF environment. VMware-specific ONTAP tools allow easy post-deployment options for both provisioning and data protection.
Now that we’ve introduced foundational VCF concepts, check out our next blogs, where we discuss how ONTAP and Element storage systems can be used to satisfy your most demanding workloads:
Come see us at VMworld 2021. We are presenting multiple sessions and will be hosting a virtual booth to answer your questions.
Josh is a Technical Marketing Engineer at NetApp designing Hybrid Cloud solutions . His focus areas include VMware, Data Protection and Software Defined Storage. Over his 20 year career in the storage industry he has held numerous roles related to driving customer satisfaction and product improvement. Prior to joining NetApp Josh worked as a Senior Storage Consultant at HPE.
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