Having vSAN based workload domains is a really powerful building block, then in VCF3.5 came the addition of NFS based workload domains offering even greater flexibility but the ability to present composable infrastructure for workload domains also is a fantastic addition. I feel that partnership of VCF and DellEMC MX7000 will be an attractive offering for Systems Integrator and Hosting companies.
Before discussing the relationship between VMware Cloud Foundation and Composable infrastructure let me introduce the MX70000 which is the DellEMC recently launched Kinetic Infrastructure, which amongst many things has been certified as a vSAN platform. Below is an overview highlighting the main attributes of this platform.
MX7000 Overview & key points:
- 7U Chassis
- Max 8 Compute Nodes
- 6 disk slots on each compute node
- Maximum of 112 local disks & 6 in each compute sled.
- 25Gbe networking available today with 50 & 100Gbe coming soon.
- Group up to 10 Chassis in a single Fabric.
- No Midplane design resulting in no single point of failure.
- vSAN Certified
- VCF3.5 Certified.
- Plug & Play fabric deployment with Smart Fabric Services.
- Support for NvME plus M.2 for boot.
- Up to 28 core processors per Compute host.
So lets take a look at how you add the MX7000 Chassis or group of Chassis to the VMware Cloud Foundation SDDC Manager.
Similar to the process of "Commision Hosts" you need to present your Chassis hosts to the SDDC Manager.
This is achieved by configuring the Redfish translation layer URL to connect the Chassis to the SDDC.
More information on this process can be found in the VCF 3.5 documentation. See the below link
VMware Cloud Foundation v3.5 Administration
Presenting the external resource is as straight forward as that and is now ready to be consumed by VCF.
In summary customers have the ability to present up to 80 vSAN Compute nodes to VCF3.5 in addition to or as an alternative to presenting rack based ready nodes. This will not be a pairing for everyone but businesses that want to automate and be as hands off with the hardware as possible will eat up this technology.
For more information i would recommend the below links.
VMware Cloud Foundations Operations and Administration Guide
VMware Cloud Foundation Hands on Lab
Dell EMC MX7000 Virtual Rack
Dell EMC MX7000 Overview
vSAN Hardware Compatibility List