VMware Validated Design (VVD) on VxRail was recently announced and has been attracting great interest. This post provides a high level overview of the available deployment options.

VVD is a prescriptive architecture for which comprehensive build guides and administrative documentation are available. VVD on VxRail deployment guides provide additional VxRail-specific configuration information in addition to the base VMware docs.

VVDonVxRail_VVDlogo

Currently there are 3 official VVD on VxRail deployment options, as follows:

  • Single Region
  • Multi-Region
  • Multi-Availability Zones

Each of these deployment options are based on the Standard SDDC architecture where the Management and Workload Domains must each be supported by independent vSphere clusters. VVD on VxRail does not support the Consolidated SDDC architecture where Management and Workload Domains can co-exist in the same single cluster.

The following descriptions are intentionally high-level for the purpose of providing an initial overview of each. Networking requirements, and other required components such as agents, collectors, forwarders and load balancers, as well as Lifecycle options are not included in this post.

Single Region VVD

The Single Region VVD on VxRail deployment consists of the following:

  • VxRail No.1 hosts the Cloud Management Platform (CMP), and is referred to as the Management Domain
    • This VxRail hosts all management components for the VxRail and the SDDC
    • Minimum 4-node VxRail appliance
  • VxRail No.2 hosts the Edge and Compute Workload, and is referred to as the Shared Edge/Compute Workload Domain
    • Minimum 4-node VxRail appliance (max 64-node)
SingleRegionArch_numbered

VVD on VxRail leverages 2 vCenter Servers. The first of which, referred to as the External vCenter, manages the CMP on VxRail No.1. The second vCenter Server, referred to as the Compute vCenter, manages the Workload Domain on VxRail No.2.

Note that the vCenter configuration for standard VxRail differs from that required for VVD on VxRail, where the initial embedded VxRail vCenter is converted to an External vCenter and a second vCenter is later deployed in order to manage the Workload Domain.

VVD also requires separate instances of  NSX for Management and Workload Domains. The scope of the first NSX instance is the Management Domain, while the second NSX instance is responsible for the Workload Domain, whose NSX Manager resides in the CMP, with Edges and Controllers located local to the Workload Domain.

Multi-Region VVD

The Multi-Region VVD on VxRail deployment consists of the following:

MultiRegionArch_numbered
  • VxRail No.1 in RegionA hosts the CMP, and is replicated to another 4-node VxRail (No.3) in RegionB
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) must be used to recover the CMP components, leveraging vSphere Replication
    • PSCs, vCenter Servers, NSX Mgr/Edges/Controllers, and Log Insight are not replicated across Regions
    • vRA, vROps, vRBforCloud are protected and recovered across Regions
  • The workloads hosted by VxRail No.2 in RegionA are replicated to another VxRail (No.4) in RegionB with vSphere Replication and recovered with SRM
    • Minimum 4-node VxRail appliance (max 64-node) in each Region
  • Minimum 4-node VxRail appliance in each Region

Multi-Availability Zones (Multi-AZ) VVD

The Multi-AZ for VVD on VxRail is Single Region based e.g. does not span Regions

MultiAZArch_numbered
  • VxRail No.1 in AZ No.1 is stretched with additional VxRail nodes to AZ No.2
    • CMP components are stretched across AZs
  • VxRail No.2 hosts the Shared Edge/Compute Workload, and is stretched with additional VxRail nodes to AZ No.2
  • Minimum 4 x VxRail nodes per AZ (max 64-node)
  • In addition to the above, a vSAN Witness Appliance is required
    • Must be located on a ‘3rd Site’
    • Can be located in a separate vSphere cluster under an independent vCenter (e.g. not on VxRail01 or VxRail02) which meets the HA requirements

30/4/2019 – VVD v5.0 is the most recently supported VVD on VxRail

Official Documentation

VMware Validated Design Documentation

VVD on VxRail documentation

Useful VVD on VxRail Resources

@DavidCRing has a number of very useful posts around VVD on VxRail over on DavidRing.ie including Sizing, VVD BOMInstallation, and more.

VMware Cloud Builder for VVD (via @LifeOfBrian)

@JeremyMerrill also has some fantastic lower-level insights into VxRail operations over on Inside The (Vx)Rails