8 Key Features and Capabilities of VMware EVO SDDC

In my previous post, I’ve explained brief introduction about EVO SDDC and its hardware and software architecture, and in this post, I’ll discuss 8 main features and capabilities of VMware EVO SDDC along with the flexible selection of hardware, in which you can choose your required hardware for setting up private cloud.

1. Fully Automated Bring Up 

VMware EVO SDDC delivers a complete compute, networking and storage virtualization platform with vSphere, NSX and Virtual SAN. These technologies are market-proven in terms of performance and availability, scalability, and support for all application types, including scale-up and scale-out applications. Each EVO SDDC integrated system is pre-configured (pre-racked, pre-cabled and pre-imaged) at the manufacturer end before shipping to the end user. Once the integrated system is physically deployed at the customer site and the system powered on, the HMS and EVO SDDC Manager are automatically brought up, an inventory check against the bill of materials is performed, and the entire SDDC stack are brought up and configured. Some necessary information related to datacenter such as DNS, IP address pool, NTP etc. are provided to initialize the rack.

This all automated process takes about two hours to bring up the rack due to the automation of provisioning workloads, automated provisioning of networks, allocation of resources based on service needs, and provisioning of end points which reduces the time from several weeks’ manual configuration to two hours fully automated process for private cloud deployment. When the process completes, the customer has a virtual infrastructure ready to start deploying vSphere clusters and provisioning workloads.

2. Streamlined Resource Management

EVO SDDC Manager is responsible for managing physical resources distributed across multiple physical racks and aggregates them into a single pool of capacity, or a single virtual rack. Within this virtual rack, resource groups can be carved out with defined performance, availability and security attributes. To achieve this, EVO SDDC introduces Workload Domains for creating resource pools across compute, storage, and networking. Workload domains are a policy-driven approach for capacity deployment, where each workload domain provides the needed capacity with specified policies for performance, availability, and security. These resource groups, or workload domains, are defined by the number of clusters, placement of cluster hosts and redundancy of VMware Virtual SAN™ disk groups.

3. Automated Infrastructure Lifecycle Management

Data center upgrades and patch management is typically a manual, repetitive task that can cause of configuration and implementation errors. EVO SDDC Manager delivers key infrastructure lifecycle management tasks, including upgrades and updates with full inventory of all relevant components software and hardware with latest patch bundles, on either a predefined cadence (such as quarterly) or as needed basis for the following:

  • Low-level software bundles, including firmware, BIOS, and drivers
  • VMware software bundles, including VMware vSphere® and VMware NSX™
  • EVO SDDC bundles, including EVO SDDC Manager and HMS updates
  • Network ToR and spine switch software update bundles

The EVO SDDC Manager automates upgrade and patch management for both the logical and physical infrastructure, thereby freeing resources to focus on business critical initiatives, while improving reliability and consistency. VMware tests all components of the EVO SDDC private cloud together before shipping new patches to the customer.

EVO SDDC’s lifecycle management can be applied to the entire infrastructure or to specific workload domains one at a time and is designed to be non-disruptive to tenant virtual machines (VM). By intelligently utilizing live VM migration, EVO SDDC Manager can intelligently patch servers, switches and the EVO SDDC software to improve infrastructure security and reliability, while maintaining tenant uptime.

4. Integrated Management of Physical and Virtual Infrastructure

EVO SDDC Manager understands the physical and logical topology along with underlying components related to each other, and also monitors the infrastructure efficiently to detect potential risks and failures. EVO SDDC Manager provides stateful alert management mechanism to prevent notification spam on problem detection. Each notification describes a clear description of the issue and provides remediation actions to restore service quickly. By doing this, EVO SDDC Manager can greatly reduce the resolution time across organizational and technology silos.

Beside this, EVO SDDC uses VMware vRealize® Operations™ to provide advanced monitoring and analytics across the physical and virtual infrastructure and vRealize Log Insight to enable easier problem diagnosis and repair from unstructured data. EVO SDDC Manager also offers REST API’s for integration with third-party tools for monitoring.

evo sddc software architecture

5. Scalability and Performance

EVO SDDC integrated systems can be easily scale-out from 8 nodes (one-third of a rack) to multiple racks in enterprise network. Hardware Management Service (HMS) auto-discovers the new physical capacity and seamlessly adds those resources to the virtual rack for consumption. This enables IT organizations to better align CapEx spend with business needs. EVO SDDC automatically discovers any new capacity and adds it into the larger pool of available capacity for use.

Following are the EVO SDDC Hardware structure per Rack with minimum and maximum capacity requirements.

 

                                                       EVO SDDC HARDWARE

Min per Rack
Max per Rack
Physical Server 8 24
CPU Cores 192 576
RAM 3TB 9TB
Storage Capacity (Raw) 76.8TB 230TB
No. of Servers VMs 250 1,000
Max No. of VDIs 700 2,000

 

6. Choosing Hardware Components

When choosing a hardware, customers begin by selecting hardware components in EVO SDDC deployment. The selecting process is called bill of materials (BoM) in which customers choose both hardware and software components of their requirements. By placing BoM, partners of EVO SDDC integrate these components and ship the integrated system as per BoM such as physical racks, servers, server subcomponents, power distribution units, switching infrastructure and the EVO SDDC software suite, to customers. Within BoM, customers can flexibly choose the following:

  • Hardware vendor(s) across racks
  • Initial rack size starting at one-third of a rack, or 8 servers
  • Server model
  • CPU and memory (amount of RAM, number of cores, CPU version, etc.)
  • Storage drive sizes and combinations of SSD and HDD
  1. Unified Support

For resolving operational issues and uniformity of technical support, EVO SDDC integrated systems have a single owner responsible for managing all support issues. when software is purchased directly through VMware, customers will receive Premier Support, and the key features of Premier Support include:

  • Support Management Services – Support request escalation and management
  • Onsite support – Rapid reactive onsite assistance, when necessary, to troubleshoot issues and help minimize downtime
  • Senior-level Engineer Priority Access – Streamlined contact to senior-level Technical Support Engineers with specialized experience supporting hyper-converged environments. Available 24×7 for Severity 1 issues and additional local business-hour coverage on weekends for Severity 2 issues.
  • Aggressive Target Response Times – 30 minutes or less for Severity 1 issues.
  1. Backup

The EVO SDDC solution provides customers the ability to install VADP compliant plug-ins on all vCenters to backup and restore VMs located in management cluster and other workload domains. Backups can be placed on EVO SDDC controlled hosts or external IP-based storage arrays. This architecture provides backup administrators with a set of choices along with the efficiency that comes from using a common set of tools across their data center.

Specifically related to lifecycle management, EVO SDDC considers data protection before any patching scenario, performing a snapshot beforehand. The lifecycle management capability also reverses changes in the case of a patch failure or merge snapshots if patches are successful.

Conclusion

VMware’s vision for the SDDC extends virtualization across all data center resources such as compute, storage, and networking to offer a fully automated, policy-driven, resource provisioning, management, and operation of a private cloud, and EVO SDDC provides the easiest way to deliver an SDDC private cloud today. As the central orchestrator of the solution, EVO SDDC Manager provides:

  • Automated and rapid setup and configuration of the entire SDDC private cloud
  • Integrated management of physical and virtual resources, including integration with vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight for monitoring, capacity planning and log analytics, respectively
  • Workload domain abstraction for ease of carving up resource pools into private cloud capacity to support workloads with distinct availability, performance, and security requirements • Automated lifecycle management of the entire SDDC stack, including software and hardware firmware
  • Easily scale up and out capacity starting with a minimum size of 8 server nodes, or one-third of a rack, and grow in as small an increment as per server
  • Single vendor ownership of support issues

As a result, VMware’s EVO SDDC integrated systems offered jointly with select qualified partners significantly improves agility, while reducing risk. CIOs and IT administrators now have an easier way to deploy and run a private cloud.

Sources: http://vmware.com/products/evosddc/.

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