As the number of VMware solutions to run your data center increases, it has become difficult and somewhat confusing to make sense of the many components involved and the interoperability between them all.

What is VMware Validated Design

VMware Validated Design is a collection of documents provided by VMware to help you plan, deploy, and configure your Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) the right way. The validated designs encompass a large array of VMware products in order to offer a holistic view of the SDDC that will serve as a template for Greenfield and Brownfield environments. All the validated designs have been tested by VMware to ensure that all the components involved are compatible and optimized for best performances.

Advantages

Validation provides the following advantages to your organization:

  • Validated product interoperability
  • Validated SDDC features
    • Churn rate of tenant workloads
    • High availability of management components
    • Operational continuity
    • Design with dual-region support in mind
  • Reduced risk of deployment and operational problems
  • Reduced test effort

To further help you designing your SDDC to fit your needs, the validated designs come in three different implementations according to your use case:

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Standard implementation

Only targeted at primary data centers which architecture can be single or dual region. You can use this implementation as a base for additional implementations such as VMware Validated Design for Remote Office and Branch Office below.

ROBO implementation

This implementation comes on top of the standard implementation for environments spread out geographically while keeping a central management. The standard implementation must be in place in your SDDC before starting with this one.

Consolidated SDDC

This option offers solutions for single region data-centers where everything runs in one single pod. As its name suggests, consolidation is the key point in this implementation which will likely fit small and start-up organizations with lower budget and hardware footprint.

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Products and Versions

The following products are included in the VMware Validated Designs 5.0:

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What’s new in VMware Validated Designs 5.0

VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center 5.0 provides the following new features:

  • Updated Bill of Materials that incorporates new product versions
  • Automated SDDC deployment by using VMware Cloud Builder
  • Automated deployment of the SDDC: You prepare the environment, deploy a Cloud Builder instance, download the software bundle for VMware Validated Design, and input the environment specification to Cloud Builder. You perform only a minimal set of post-deployment tasks
  • For multiple availability zones in Region A, VMware Validated Design supports manual addition of the second availability zone
  • Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2016 for the Windows virtual machines of vRealize
  • Automation and Site Recovery Manager
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2017 for the external database of vRealize Automation
  • Support for Ubuntu Server 18.04 for the virtual machines of vSphere Update Manager Download Service
  • Multi-tenancy support in vRealize Orchestrator
  • Recommended use of 25 GbE NICs
  • Use of the HTML5-based vSphere Client for environment preparation, post-deployment configuration, and operational guidance in vSphere, NSX for vSphere, Site Recovery Manager, and vSphere Update Manager

Conclusion

VMware’s quest to have all of its customers running a supported, secure and well-designed SDDC has been one of the main focuses over the last few years and paying off. With the release of the new Cloud Builder solution which includes VMware’s know-how, it has never been so easy to create the perfect SDDC and ensure product/version compatibility.

Whether you are an experienced infrastructure engineer or starting with the VMware ecosystem, the validated designs are a great source of information and will certainly teach you something, even to the best informed.

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