What are VMware Validated Designs?

VMware announced at VMworld earlier this year that they have been working on  implementing VMware Validated Designs. This is a fantastic step by VMware and shows a maturity that has come from years of being the number one virtualisation platform. Cisco had had validated designs for years and I refer to them regularly when deploying Cisco related infrastructure. Through the implementation of validated designs VMware is assisting the community to develop and implement consistent designs across infrastructures which will help provide a consistency and familiarity not currently present. When a new platform is being deployed the elements to consider can include compute, storage, network, security, automation and operations. These are not just reference architectures, the validated designs are constantly updated continuously.
This video gives a bit more of an explanation around what VMware Validated Designs are. The designs have been split into pods, Management, Edge and Compute. Management is made up of vCenter Server, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Log Insight and VMware Horizon. Network and security are provided by VMware NSX, storage is provided VSAN. The Edge pod provides additional NSX support to allow external access to compute workloads. The compute pod is the heavy lifting pod.

 

A validated design is not a step-by-step installation guide or a guide on how to piece all the parts together but rather a blueprint that can be followed so that the design adheres to the validation standards of VMware
Some Validated Design Advantages:
  • Consistent approach to designs
  • Re-usable pod architectures
  • Pre-validated to improve speed to deployment
The focus at the moment is for Software-Defined Data Center with VMware products, primarily for VMware VSAN. Hopefully in the future this will expand out to include multiple vendor integrations, systems and workloads but for now it’s a step in the right direction. VMware validated designs come in 4 use-cases at the moment but this is set to expand. They are Datacenter Foundation, Single-region and Dual-region IT automation, QE and Demo clouds. Two that are currently available are the Datacenter Foundation and Single-Region IT Automation. I’d recommend having a browse over the documents when you have a spare moment. The DataCenter Foundation provides a design for the base architecture and the other designs build upon this design. It’s also possible to sign up for the Early Access Community via MyVMware.

So where can I find out more?

  • Another absolutely great way to get more insight into how the Validated Designs work and what components are required is to spend some time going through the Feature Walkthroughs from VMware. It provides an excellent walkthrough of each of the components.

Anything else?

VMware doesn’t just have validated designs for SDDC. Another validated design worth looking at is the Always-On Desktop Validated Design. This is a very in-depth design guide that covers multiple aspects of Always-On Desktop design. Get yourself and big cup of coffee for this one. This isn’t linked to the recently released Validated Designs around SDDC directly but it’s something I came across and thought was interesting,

Jerrys final word

I think this is an excellent step by VMware and I think it will help with the uptake of VSAN among partners and clients. VMware has followed in the footsteps of other more established technology companies with validated designs and while it’s focus right now is just SDDC it will no doubt expand in the future. As an end user designing and architecting such environments the validated designs are a great resource and will assist in reducing the time it takes to validate interoperability between components.

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