In the 1st blog of this series on VCF, I talked about why VCF is important to VMware and VMware customers. I will cover three use cases:

  1. Minimal install
  2. VCF 3.10.x with manual guidance for vRealize Suite 2019
  3. VCF 4.x

Minimal install:

Most common use cases:

Horizon, Emergency Capacity, Microsegmtation, and Deep Cisco ACI shops plan on using combination ACI Multisite, Cisco VMM, and other Cisco products.

What is a minimal install?

It is an install that provides the foundation for Management Cluster and the first workload domain (WLD). The required products are vSphere, vSAN, and NSX. Can I hear you thinking, “NSX? Thought ACI was one of the big use cases.” Correct, NSX, and ACI can be very complimentary, and we can deep dive use cases of NSX with ACI at another time.

Back to VCF, as talked about in my last blog post, the significant advantage of VCF is standardization and predictability, so yes, NSX is required to provide a predictable transport network for the management and workload clusters. The install of NSX and only the transport network are needed; you do not need setup Application Virtual networks (AVN).

About the digram:

You can see from the picture below can you will have run NSX-V with ESG in the management cluster and either NSX-V ESG or NSX-T T0/T1 with vTEPs and transport layer. You do not need to configure routing.



VCF 3.10.x with manual guidance for vRealize Suite 2019:

Usecase:   VCF 3.10.x with vRealize Suite 2019

Due to direct customer feedback, this use case where customers needed to start with vRealize Suite 2019 to harness all the new features of vRealize Automation 8 (vRA, 8.x) and vRealize Operations Manager 8 (vROps 8.x).

I can see you asking me, ” Wait, why can’t I install base VCF and then vRealize 2019?” You can! That the actual manual guidance for this deployment. Yes, I said manual guidance, let me walk you through why.

VCF is automated installation services that deploy VMware Validated Design (VVD); with set Bill of Materials (BOM). In 3.9x, the automation would deploy vRealize Log Insight (vRLI) and the vRealize 7 suite. VCF 3.10.x is an update to 3.9.x, not a BOM change. Still, customers demanded the support of vRealize Suite 2019, so VMware created the manual guidance to install vRealize Suite 2019 outside of VCF automation with the deployment of LCM that could support vRealize Suite 2019. In this case, you should have two LCM’s instance on to support vRLI and one to support vRealize Suite 2019.


About the digram:

In the first diagram, the focus was at the NSX level, for this digram I wanted, to show and focus two key items. The fact you need two LCM managers, and you will wish to setup log forwarding from Loginishgt 4.8 to 8.x. Remember,you will deploy vRealize suite 2019 from LCM 8.x that you manual deploy.  The other item of note is vXRail manager for each WLD, remember that for future designs and blogs.


VCF 4.x

Usecase: Greenfield with no technical debt and is ready for CI/CD upgrades.


VCF 4.0 brought some significant changes, vSphere 7.0, automated install of vRealize Suite 2019, and NSX-T 3.0 in both the Management and workload domains. 4.0 release date April 2020 was before VCF 3.10.x in May of 2020. Please be mindful of these days as End of General Support for VCF products is one year after release.

VCF 4.0 is 1st release of VCF where almost all technical debt had to be removed, and every product was working on Photon OS. Now that VMware is ready to start the CI/CD journey with VCF!

You will see VMware coming out with releases much faster with goal launch new release every four months. That is faster than many customers are used to but still slower than a two-week release cycle for VMware SAS offerings.

It is critical to building a new greenfield data center with VCF from today in the future, that starts with VCF 4.x in mind.


About the digram:

4.x has few significant changes, one, of course, is the BOM that includes vSphere 7.  The other is NSX-T in both the MGMT and WLDs! I also want my reads to note that included Spines in this diagram.  I want every to start to think where you would peer NSX at ToRs? At that Spine? Somewhere else? In my next blog, we begin to explore this subject and build up to how NSX and ACI work together.

VCP-DV, VCP-NV, VCAP-DCD currently working at VMware in the PSO organization​.

2 Comment on “VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF): Use-cases with conceptual designs

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