VCF 4 on VxRail Architecture Diagrams

This post contains some sample high-level, non-official VCF 4 on VxRail architecture diagrams and notes that I have put together for enablement purposes, and may be of use to others.

These diagrams are reflective of VCF 4.0 on VxRail, and are based on the following supported architectures:

  • Standard Architecture
  • Consolidated Architecture
  • Multi-AZ Architecture

Before diving into the architectures, first some high-level details to consider with VCF 4 on VxRail:

  • Architecture
    • VCF 4.0 is New Deployments/Greenfield only
    • No Upgrade Path to VCF 4.0 from 3.9.x vSphere 7 only
    • Single Embedded PSC
    • Consolidated Architecture now supported
  • NSX Updates
    • NSX-T only
    • NSX-T Edges in Mgmt WLD if AVN configured
    • Options NSX-T:VIWLD
      • 1:1
      • 1:Many
  • Hardware
    • Must use VxRail systems only (no non-VxRail h/w)
    • Min 2 NICs per VxRail node
    • Standard Architecture minimum of 7 nodes (4+3)
      • 4-node VxRail for VCF Mgmt
      • 3-node VxRail min for VI WLDs
    • Consolidated Architecture requires 4-node VxRail min

For more comprehensive details on the VCF 4.0 on VxRail release, take a look at this post DELL EMC VXRAIL – INTRODUCING VCF 4.0 from my colleague @DavidCRing.


Sample Standard Architecture

Management with a Single Virtual Infrastructure (VI) WLD

In the above example, note the following details:

  • All Management WLD and VI WLD vCenter Server and NSX-T Manager instances are located in Management WLD
  • VI WLD VxRail(s) use External vCenter Server(s)
  • NSX-T Edges deployed in Mgmt WLD only if AVN configured
  • NSX-T can be 1:1 or 1:many for VI Workload Domains. In this example it is 1:1 as we have only a single VI WLD.
  • The 1st VI WLD hosts Shared Edge devices
  • Each cluster hosts it’s own VxRail Mgr

Management WLD + Single VI WLD including multiple Clusters

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Single instance of NSX-T for VI Workload Domains
  • Shared VI WLD vCenter and NSX-T instance
  • 2nd cluster in VI WLD01 uses the existing Edges
  • Each cluster hosts own VxRail Mgr

Management WLD + Two VI WLDs, using single NSX-T (1:many)

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Single NSX-T for VI Workload Domains (1:Many)
  • 1st VI WLD hosts Shared Edge devices
  • 2nd vCenter for VI WLD02
  • Shared VI WLD NSX-T instance
  • Uses existing Edges in VI WLD01
  • Each cluster hosts own VxRail Mgr

Management WLD + Two VI WLDs, using two NSX-T (1:1) instances

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Each VI WLD has own vCenter Server
  • Each VI WLD has own NSX-T (1:1) instance
  • Each VI WLD has own Edge devices
  • Each cluster hosts own VxRail Mgr

Sample Consolidated Architecture

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Single WLD
  • Single vCenter Server
  • Single NSX-T instance
  • Single VxRail Mgr
  • Resource Pools used for workload Isolation
  • Single WLD for VCF Mgmt and Tenant workloads (4-node minimum, recommend 8 min)
  • Scales to 64 hosts, as per vSphere maximums for total hosts (64)
  • Multi-cluster is possible
  • Cannot manage additional VI WLDs

Sample Multi-AZ Architectures

Note that for all VCF on VxRail Multi-AZ architectures, the Management WLD MUST be stretched.

  • VI WLDs, and the clusters within them, can be stretched or Local to either AZ.
  • The Mgmt WLD requires a min of 4 nodes per site
  • The 1st VI WLD requires a min 4 nodes per site
  • Secondary VI WLD Clusters require a min 3 of nodes per site
  • Node Count must be balanced per site

Stretched Mgmt WLD + Stretched VI WLD

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Stretched Mgmt WLD
  • 1 x Stretched VI WLD
  • 2 x vCenter Servers
  • 2 x NSX-T instances
    • Mgmt 1:1
    • VI WLDs (1:1)
  • 2 x VxRail Mgr

Stretched Mgmt WLD + 2 x Stretched VI WLD, using single NSX-T

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Stretched Mgmt WLD
  • 2 x Stretched VI WLD
  • 3 x vCenter Servers
  • 2 x NSX-T instances
    • Mgmt 1:1
    • VI WLDs (1:many)
  • 2 x VxRail Mgr

Stretched Mgmt WLD + 2 VI WLDs with mix of stretched and local WLDs and clusters, using single NSX-T instance

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Stretched Mgmt WLD
  • 1 x Stretched VI WLD
  • 2 x Local VI WLDs
  • 4 x vCenter Servers
  • 2 x NSX-T instances
    • Mgmt 1:1
    • VI WLDs (1:many)
  • 4 x VxRail Mgr

Stretched Mgmt WLD + Stretched VI WLD, 2 x Local VI WLDs, using Two NSX-T instances

In the above example, note the following details:

  • Stretched Mgmt WLD
  • 1 x Stretched VI WLD
  • 2 x Local VI WLDs
  • 4 x vCenter Servers
  • 3 x NSX-T instances
    • Mgmt 1:1
    • VI WLDs (1:1)
  • 4 x VxRail Mgr

Other Resources

VCF on VxRail Administrator Guide

Technical FAQ for Cloud Foundation on VxRail


Hope that helps, Steve.

One thought on “VCF 4 on VxRail Architecture Diagrams

  1. Pingback: Sample VCF on VxRail Architecture Diagrams | Scamallach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.