October 16, 2023 By Sami Kuronen
Bryan Buckland
Alecia Ramsay
4 min read

Enterprises working at hybrid cloud adoption and multicloud strategies look for greater flexibility, redundancy, and resilience. At the same time, they need consistency with on-premises tools and architectures. VMware Cloud Foundation helps to simplify licensing and cloud management, regardless of where a customer’s workloads are located.

What is VMware Cloud Foundation?

VMware Cloud Foundation is an enterprise grade software bundle, which integrates capabilities such as Infrastructure and Cloud Management, Network and Security Operations and Developer Ready Infrastructure. VMware Cloud Foundation in IBM Cloud® enables customers to utilize the full array of VMware Cloud services.

How to run IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation?

Customers can deploy IBM Cloud® for VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF), which includes VMware vSphere® with VMware Tanzu™, VMware vSAN™, VMware NSX™ Data Center and HCX with integrated management tools including SDDC manager, vCenter and VMware Aria® Suite.

With the included enterprise capabilities, customers have a complete set of software-defined services for compute, storage, network security, Kubernetes, and cloud management.

IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation is built on IBM Cloud® Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and the deployment is based on VMware’s best practices and architectural principles. IBM Cloud VPC is a highly resilient and highly secure software-defined network (SDN), where customers can build virtually isolated private clouds while maintaining public cloud benefits.

IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation is a self-managed solution. This means that IBM Cloud® automation provisions the required infrastructure and services in a new IBM Cloud VPC and customers are responsible for monitoring and managing the environment using the built-in tools provided as part of the deployment. Environments can be managed based on their best practises and customers can decide the lifecycle of their instance — when to update and to what version.

Supported VMware Cloud Foundation architecture models

IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation supports both consolidated and standard VCF architecture models. In the consolidated architecture, the management and application workloads run on same shared hardware, and they share the same NSX deployment and are managed through one vCenter. In the standard architecture, customers workloads have dedicated hardware and are deployed on vSphere clusters, which are managed through a virtual infrastructure (VI) workload domain specific vCenter and NSX deployment.

Customers can select a suitable model based on their requirements for the deployment. For example, they can deploy a small-scale environment first and extend it according to the capacity needs, or if they are working on an SDDC proof-of-concept they can select a consolidated architecture. For a production environment, a standard architecture is the recommended solution according to VMware’s production best practices.

Deployment architecture

The VMware Cloud Foundation provisioning is done in a similar way as you would deploy VCF on-premises. By using IBM Cloud Virtual Private Cloud as the underlying infrastructure, the deployment happens in an agile way inside a secure and logically isolated virtual network. Customers can select a private IP address space that best fits their networking requirements. On initial provisioning, IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation automation provisions the required infrastructure components in customer’s own IBM Cloud VPC, which is fully under their own control.

VPC subnets and the VPC implicit router enhanced with access control lists and security groups provide a secure logical network segmentation following VCF design principles. IBM Cloud Interconnectivity Services can be used to connect to other IBM Cloud® IaaS platforms or on-premises through Transit Gateway and Cloud Direct Link:

The IBM Cloud bare metal servers for IBM Cloud VPC provide the compute capacity for the VCF deployment. These bare metal servers include 100Gb networking with embedded NVMe SSD drives for vSAN and are provisioned in minutes. In addition to vSAN, VPC file shares are fully supported with VMware deployments as additional storage for the clusters. Adding or removing compute capacity is done by using IBM Cloud® Portal using IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation automation.

Key benefits

  • Optimise performance, security and scalability for your VMware workloads
    • Deployment runs on a secure and logically isolated IBM Cloud VPC
    • Fully software defined platform with fast provisioning times
    • o Powerful IBM Cloud VPC bare metal servers with 100GB networking and fast NVMe disks
  • Flexible consumption model
    • Hourly On-demand
    • Yearly subscriptions with discounted prices
  • Benefit from VMware Cloud Foundation:
    • Full stack of VMware capabilities at the enterprise software level

Next steps

IBM Cloud for VMware Cloud Foundation gives you the benefits of simplified VMware management, dedicated instance, compute flexibility and scale to meet your workload demands. Take the next steps:

Get started with IBM Cloud for VMware solutions
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