The VMware Validated Design for Remote Offices and Branch Offices (ROBO) enables IT organizations to automate the provisioning of common, repeatable requests to multiple remote office and branch office locations from a hub. This enables IT to be to respond to business needs with more agility and predictability. Traditionally this has been referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS), however, the VMware Validated Design for Remote Offices and Branch Offices extends the typical IAAS solution to include a broader and more complete solution.

The VMware Validated Design architecture is based on a number of layers and modules that allows interchangeable components be part of the end solution or outcome, such as the SDDC. If a particular component design does not fit a business or technical requirement for whatever reason, it can be replaced with another, similar component. VMware Validated Designs are one way of putting an architecture together. They are rigorously tested to ensure stability, scalability and compatibility. Ultimately, the system is designed in such a way as to ensure that the desired IT outcome will be achieved.

Figure 1. Architecture Overview

Physical Layer

The lowest layer of the solution is the Physical Layer, sometimes referred to as the "core," which consists of three main components: compute, network and storage. Within the compute component there are the x86-based servers that run the management, edge, and tenant compute workloads. There is guidance around the physical capabilities required to run the architecture, however, no recommendations on the type or brand of hardware is given. All components must be supported on the VMware Hardware Compatibility guide.

Virtual Infrastructure Layer

Sitting on the Physical Layer components is the Virtual Infrastructure Layer. Within the Virtual Infrastructure Layer, access to the physical underlying infrastructure is controlled and allocated to the management and tenant workloads. The Virtual Infrastructure Layer consists primarily of the physical host's hypervisor and the control of these hypervisors. The management workloads consist of elements in the virtual management layer itself, along with elements in the Cloud Management Layer, Service Management, Business Continuity, and Security areas.

Cloud Management Layer

The Cloud Management Layer is the "top" layer of the stack and is where service consumption occurs. This layer calls for resources and then orchestrates the actions of the lower layers to achieve the request, most commonly by means of a user interface or application programming interface (API). While the SDDC can stand on its own without any additional, ancillary services, for a complete SDDC experience other supporting components are needed. The Service Management, Business Continuity and Security areas complete the architecture by providing this support.

Service Management

When building any type of IT infrastructure, portfolio and operations management play key roles in continued day-to-day service delivery. The Service Management area of this architecture focuses mainly on operations management, in particular monitoring, alerting and log management.

Business Continuity

To ensure that a system is enterprise ready, it must contain elements to support business continuity in the area of data backup, restoration, and disaster recovery. Business continuity ensures that when data loss occurs, the right elements are in place to prevent permanent losses to the business. The design provides comprehensive guidance on how to operate backup and restore functions, along with run books detailing how to fail over components in the event of a disaster.


All systems need to be inherently secure by design. This reduces risk and increases compliance while providing a governance structure. The security area outlines what is needed to ensure that the SDDC is resilient to both internal and external threats.