VMware Cloud Foundation On VxRail Is ‘Just Genius’

‘It’s just genius to see how Dell and VMware can bring this all together and make one operating system for the multi-cloud world,’ says Vinu Thomas, chief technology officer at Presidio.


Channel partners are hailing the availability of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on Dell EMC’s leading hyper-converged infrastructure VxRail solution as a “game-changer” that will enable faster adoption of hybrid cloud.

“This is a game-changer for VMware. You’re talking about VMware Cloud Foundation and it has NSX, it has the vSAN portfolio – that’s a true multi-cloud operating system,” said Vinu Thomas, chief technology officer at Presidio, a New-York-based solution provider powerhouse and top global VMware partner. “So it would be great if you could actually put VMware Cloud Foundation on top of hyper-converged because what a hyper-converged system does at the end of the day, is it brings those public cloud features, functionally, agility and scalability on to the private cloud. … Dell and VMware coming together makes absolute sense in bringing VxRail running VCF inside the data center that can then extend to VMware on AWS, and now you have a true multi-cloud operating system. It’s just genius to see how they can bring this all together and make one operating system for the multi-cloud world.”

For the first time, VMware Cloud Foundation is becoming available on Dell EMC’s market hyper-converged VxRail solution beginning in April. The new offering gives customers the industry’s first jointly engineered, hybrid cloud infrastructure stack integrated with VMware’s architecture, according to Chad Dunn, vice president of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure product management for Dell EMC.

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“We believe this is the simplest and fastest way to get to a VMware hybrid cloud,” said Dunn in an interview with CRN.

“The mandate we were given from [Dell Technologies CEO] Michael Dell, [vice chairman, Products and Operations, Dell EMC] Jeff Clarke and [VMware CEO] Pat Gelsinger is, ‘When we do things with VMware and Dell EMC, we want it to be first and best no matter what we do,” said Dunn. “We’re leveraging VxRail APIs that aren’t available to anybody else that really expose the value added capabilities in VxRail to VMware Cloud Foundation. That full-stack integration of lifecycle management of all of the hardware and software components at a cluster level, this extends those capabilities via API into Cloud Foundation, it extends our southbound APIs into Dell networking switches to automate their deployment. We’ll continue to expand that ever further.”

With the new VCF on VxRail, Dell EMC and VMware are aiming to deliver the fastest and easiest path to deploy a hybrid cloud through a fully-integrated hybrid cloud platform.

The new VCF on VxRail will include Dell EMC and VMware jointly-engineered features aimed to simplify and streamline operations, while delivering end-to-end lifecycle management through an automated hardware through software. Delivering a unified user experience, VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail is lifecycle managed as one automated, turnkey hybrid cloud experience, greatly reducing risk and increasing IT operational efficiency, according to Dunn.

Josh Lee, director of sales for Nanuet, N.Y.-based Dell Technologies partner VirtuIT Systems, said the new offering is “a great thing” for the channel.

“It proves that if you’re a VMware customer, Dell EMC is the No. 1 partner to have for a hardware platform,” said Lee. “Most of the customer we’re talking too are looking at multi-cloud or hybrid cloud. Nobody else in the hyper-converged space can go from the low mid-tier and SMB market to as high as the enterprise with this integration saying, ‘Hey we can do VMware Cloud Foundation, on-premise with an integrated solution fully supported by the OEM. And it gives you the ability to have a multi-cloud environment out to whatever public cloud partner you’re using that certified.’”

VMware has made architectural updates to VCF that that will pair well with core VxRail functionality such as networking flexibility enabling Dell EMC integration benefits, as well as deployment options ranging from appliance to integrated rack offerings. Another example, is the synchronous release of VxRail and VMware software updates so the latest HCI and cloud software benefits are in customers’ hands sooner.

Dunn said VCF for VxRail opens up new customer opportunities and services for channel partners. “Obviously there’s a big services component to this. If you look at the deployment of a VMware validated design, which we have a lot of customers are doing, there’s a rich services opportunity there for partners,” he said.

VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail is a major example of the power of the Dell Technologies family of businesses, which includes Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA, Virtustream and SecureWorks.

“When we get that mandate from Michael Dell that says, ‘We must always be first and best in terms of VMware, Pivotal, etc. integration” – we take that very seriously,” said Dunn. “If you look at the portfolio of Dell Technologies, we have the industry leading virtualization platform in VMware. We have an industry leading hyper-converged infrastructure product with VxRail built on the industry leading server platform, which is PowerEdge, also with industry leading platform in container and service offerings from Pivotal – you really get that whole end-to-end portfolio. We really can support you from mouse pads up to cloud infrastructure.”