Demonstrating VMware SDDC

    I often have conversations with customers around the benefits of implementing a VMware SDDC and what components exactly make that up.  Conversations are great and technical drawings can help but sometimes to really articulate the benefits the customer wants to see it with their own eyes.

    With that, Insight have invested in running their own public facing demo VMware SDDC lab, putting their money where their mouth is.  Utilising the existing data centre taking advantage of production ready SLAs and dedicated hosting space, the demo lab is very much production ready.

    VMware SDDC

    So what exactly is the VMware SDDC?  Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC) was a term VMware coined some time ago as they really focused on VMware’s vision to virtualise the data centre.  As technology has evolved, storage and network functions can be delivered via software using commodity hardware.

    This frees up the requirements of proprietary hardware for storage and network functions eliminating silos in the data centre allowing for the solution to be easily scaled and distributed across the full data centre.  At the heart of SDDC is automation and operations management, as compute, storage and network functions are virtualised into software they can be automatically consumed dramatically decreasing deployment time, eliminating human error and configuration shift.

    The Project

    Building a lab can be time consuming and it’s difficult to fit it into business hours so the work has been treated as an external project.  With that, requirements have been gathered – how a lab environment can help the business and its customers.  Using these requirements a design document was produced highlighting how these requirements will be met along with configuration and operational supporting documents.

    Treating it this way allows time to be justified to the business and eventually lead to a far better experience for the customer, knowing nothing has been rushed.  Configuration and operational guides allow other parts of the business to use the solution and consume it. 

    Integrations are planned for public cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, along with a separate Azure stack to sit alongside this lab, to demonstrate what can be achieved in a multi cloud / hybrid cloud solution.  Further integration is planned for other key partnerships such as a Nutanix cluster to fully demonstrate what can be delivered.

    The compute resources will be provided by SuperMicro hardware configured as bare-metal ESXi, no nesting will be configured to get as close to customers infrastructure as possible.  A dedicated management cluster and payload cluster will be deployed and include the following products

    • vSphere
    • vSAN
    • NSX
    • vRealize Operations Manager
    • vRealize Automation
    • vRealize Network Insight
    • vRealize Orchestrator
    • Horizon
    • WorkpaceONE

    As well as supporting 3rd party applications such as configuration management tools Chef and Puppet, backup products Veeam and Rubrik and security products such from Trend Micro and Palo Alto Networks.

    Conclusion

    The project is ambitious from a technical point of view but also from a business, there has been a considerable investment to get this up and running but it really does demonstrate what can be achieved investing in VMware’s SDDC model. 

    VMware provide online labs such as Hands on Labs but sometimes it’s nice to get hands on from a fully delivered lab to really demonstrate the solution.

    It's planned to be available for public demonstrations FY 2018 with work underway now.
     

    Why not also read 'Datacenter Automation-and Operations'?