Introduction to VMware EVO SDDC

On 22nd June, 2016, I’ve got the opportunity to attend the #SDDCMegaCast ActualTech Media SDDC MegaCast. Where 05 worlds’ top SDDC solution providers (VMware, Stratoscale, Cloudistics, HTBase, and VCE) presented their SDDC product solutions. In this MegaCast, I listened to VMware’s Sr. Director Product Marketing Alberto Farronato @Alberto_F who presented the architecture of VMware EVO SDDC. So, in this post,  I’ll discuss about what VMware EVO SDDC is? And in next post, I’ll discuss some key features and capabilities of EVO SDDC.

VMware EVO SDDC (Codenamed EVO:RACK) is introduced in VMworld 2015 an integrated software suite that powers a new class of integrated systems designed to provide the easiest path to an SDDC private cloud. According to Wikipedia in SDDC, all elements of the infrastructure, networking, storage, CPU, and security are virtualized and delivered as a service.

EVO SDDC is a modular hyper-converged infrastructure which delivers elastic, scalable, and high performance infrastructure designed for large-scale SDDC deployments in a variety of use cases, including virtual infrastructure, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). For EVO SDDC system, VMware introduces an innovative system management software – VMware EVO SDDC Manager™ – that radically simplifies infrastructure management by automating and simplifying many resource intensive administration tasks, such as system bring up, configuration of physical and virtual networks, resource provisioning, and lifecycle management of upgrades and patches.

EVO SDDC Architecture

EVO SDDC integrated systems are based on a pre-integrated set of hardware and software components that deliver a simplified operational experience. EVO SDDC leverages hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to deliver compute, storage and networking from the hypervisor using modular x86 servers and standard top-of-rack switches as the ideal building block for SDDC to deliver greater elasticity, simplicity and performance at a lower cost.

Source: https://www.vmware.com/products/evosddc

The EVO SDDC software architecture consists of three basic layers as shown in following figure: hardware, virtualization, and operations & management layers. In addition to the VMware software components, EVO SDDC also contains the Hardware Management Services (HMS) software for physical infrastructure management, the EVO SDDC Manager™ for integrated physical and virtual infrastructure management, including deployment, configuration and operations management, and APIs for integration with external software tools and components. The EVO SDDC software, includes VMware vSphere®, Virtual SAN™, NSX®, vRealize® Operations™, Log Insight™ and EVO SDDC Manager. Infrastructure such as compute, storage and networking are virtualized and presented as a pool of capacity to the end user to flexibly deploy in enterprise setups. A single pool of capacity can be created from multiple physical racks from either single or multiple diverse vendors.

The EVO SDDC Manager serves as the primary interface for an operator’s day-to-day tasks and provides an integrated view for both the physical and virtual infrastructure. At first day, the EVO SDDC Manager automates the software and physical entities configuration, including the spine and top-of-rack (ToR) switches. After first day, the EVO SDDC Manager significantly simplifies operations and management processes such as non-disruptive, automated infrastructure lifecycle management and integrated performance management, capacity optimization and real-time log analytics capabilities.

evo sddc software architecture

Source: https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vmwareevosddc-overview.pdf

VMware EVO SDDC Manager

For the logical infrastructure, EVO SDDC includes VMware virtualization and management components augmented by a new component, EVO SDDC Manager. EVO SDDC Manager, as shown in following figure, serves as the single interface for managing the logical and physical infrastructure of the private cloud. By logging in to this interface, the IT administrator can take control of new private cloud resources, such as monitor changes to the physical and logical infrastructure, and manage lifecycle and other operational activities. EVO SDDC Manager also provides REST-based APIs to integrate with the existing data center’s management and monitoring tools.

evo sddc manager img

For configuration and management of hardware, EVO SDDC Manager relies on the Hardware Management Service (HMS). The HMS is a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) that interfaces with the hardware components, such as servers, switches, PDUs, and other physical devices. It is responsible for discovery, inventory, monitoring, configuration, and lifecycle management of individual servers or switches. HMS automatically discovers new servers, bootstraps or resets them, and processes hardware events (e.g., alarms, sensor data threshold triggers) and state changes. The Hardware Management Service then exposes events and states changes to the rest of the EVO SDDC environment in a hardware-independent manner. HMS also supports rack-level boot-up sequencing of hardware components and provides services, such as secure, remote, and hard reset of these components. HMS is part of a dedicated management infrastructure running in each physical rack.

VMware’s vision for the Software-Defined Data Center extends virtualization across all data center resources (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 a result, VMware’s EVO SDDC integrated systems offered jointly with select qualified partners significantly improves agility, while reducing risk. IT administrators and managers now have an easier way to deploy and run a private cloud.

Sources: https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2015/10/14/vmware-evo-sddc-an-insiders-view/, https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vmwareevosddc-overview.pdf

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