VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) enables an IT organization to automate the provisioning of common repeatable requests and to respond to business needs with agility and predictability. Usually, this use case is referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). However, VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center extends the typical IaaS solution to provide an IT solution with features across many areas such as IaaS, operations management, business continuity and security.

The VMware Validated Design architecture is based on layers and modules. You can replace components to implement the end solution or outcome such as the SDDC. If a particular component design does not fit a business or technical requirement for some reason, you can swap it out for a similar one.

A VMware Validated Design is one way of assembling an architecture. It is tested for stability, scalability and compatibility. The design of the system ensures achieving best IT outcomes.

Figure 1. Architecture Overview

Overview that includes service management layer on the left, physical, virtual, and cloud management layers in the middle, and security layer on the right

Physical Layer

The lowest layer of the solution is the physical layer which consists of the compute, network and storage components. The compute component contains the x86-based servers that run the management, edge and tenant workloads. This design provides some guidance about the physical capabilities that are required to run this architecture. However, you select a specific type or brand of hardware according to VMware Compatibility Guide.

Virtual Infrastructure Layer

The virtual infrastructure layer is on top of the physical layer components. The virtual infrastructure layer controls the access to the underlying physical infrastructure, and controls and allocates resources to the management and tenant workloads. The management workloads consist of elements in the virtual infrastructure layer itself, together with elements in the cloud management, service management, business continuity and security layers.

Cloud Management Layer

The cloud management layer is the top layer of the stack. Service consumption occurs at this layer.

This layer requests resources and orchestrates the actions of the lower layers from a user interface or application programming interface (API).

Service Management Layer

When building any type of IT infrastructure, you use portfolio and operations management for continuous day-to-day service delivery. The service management area of this architecture focuses on operations management, in particular lifecycle management, monitoring, alerting, and log management.

Operations Management Layer

The architecture of the operations management layer includes management components that provide support for the main types of operations in an SDDC.

In the operations management layer, you monitor the underlying physical infrastructure and the virtual management and tenant workloads in real-time. Information is collected in the form of structured data (metrics) and unstructured data (logs). The operations management layer also retrieves the SDDC topology, that is physical and virtual compute, networking, and storage resources, which are key in intelligent and dynamic operational management. The operations management layer consists primarily of monitoring and logging functionality.

Business Continuity Layer

An enterprise-ready system must contain elements to support business continuity by providing data backup, restoration, and disaster recovery. If data loss occurs, the right elements must be in place to prevent permanent loss of business critical data. This design provides guidance on how to operate backup and restore functions, and includes run books with detailed information on how to fail over components in the event of a disaster.

Security Layer

All systems must be secure by design. A secure design reduces risk and increases compliance while providing a governance structure. The security layer outlines the operations and setup that you must provide to implement an SDDC that is resilient to both internal and external threats.