VMware Upgrades Cloud Foundation To Support Broader Hybrid Functionality

VMware introduced a major upgrade Tuesday to VMware Cloud Foundation, its integrated data center solution, to ease provisioning of hybrid cloud infrastructure for running modern applications.

VMware Cloud Foundation 3.5 delivers capabilities intended to support new types of workloads, including cloud-native apps, machine learning, high performance computing and big data, said Matt Herreras, senior director of product marketing for Cloud Foundation.

"This is really setting us up to support new application types with Cloud Foundation," Herreras said.

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VMware is looking to bring together physical, composable and virtual infrastructure with advanced automation that delivers public cloud-style functionality across hybrid infrastructure, Herreras said.

It's important to remember that "Cloud Foundation is not a software bundling exercise," he told CRN.

The package, including the latest versions of vSphere compute virtualization, vSAN storage virtualization and NSX network virtualization, is an "engineered solution that brings together the entire software defined data center suite in an easy to consume way for our customer," Herreras said.

Cloud Foundation 3.5., unveiled in Barcelona at VMworld 2018 Europe, unifies IT operations across on-premises private clouds, public clouds and IoT devices on the edge of networks. The aim is to make it easier to move workloads at scale across those diverse cloud environments while breaking down hardware silos, he said.

Among the new features is "multi-site functionality" that allows stretching vSAN storage clusters across data centers in metropolitan areas as one implementation of a hybrid environment, something particularly desirable to European customers, Herreras said.

Another feature called NSX Hybrid Connect, quietly introduced on Cloud Foundation 3.0 this summer but being trumpeted with the latest release, makes it possible to use vMotion to move workloads across clouds, as could previously be done only across server nodes.

Cloud Foundation 3.5 is the first release of the suite to integrate with NSX-T, a version of the network virtualization solution built from the ground up to run containers. NSX-T can run Kubernetes orchestrated clusters side-by-side with virtual machines, with intrinsic security at every layer of that infrastructure.

VMware also introduced support for composable infrastructure, which pools infrastructure resources as shared cloud services, through an integration between VMware's SDDC Manager and HPE Synergy Composer. That makes it possible for apps to run across environments, such as file and block storage.

Cloud Foundation 3.0 for the first time allowed users to bring their own network switches, whereas before they could only choose from a limited prescriptive set. The latest release further supports legacy hardware by allowing customers to incorporate existing external storage alongside vSAN.

And VMware introduced in preview VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, adding support for Dell's hyper-converged infrastructure.