VMware Unveils Automation Tools for Building New-Gen Data Centers

EVO SDDC is positioned as the first fully automated software suite of tools and services for building a software-defined data center.

SAN FRANCISCO—In its quest to stay a step ahead of competitors as a go-to vendor for data center management software, VMware on Aug. 31 introduced a couple of new virtualization controls: VMware EVO SDDC (for software-defined data center) and VMware Virtual SAN (storage area network) 6.1.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization giant positions EVO SDDC as the first fully automated software suite of tools and services for building a software-defined data center as an integrated system of storage, networking and computing.

Basically, you point EVO SDDC in the right direction, and a lot of the grunge work involved with building a new-gen data center is done in an automated fashion, following parameters set off the top.

Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president and general manager of VMware's Software-Defined Datacenter Division, told reporters at VMWorld 2015 that EVO SDDC enables users to "more easily deploy and operate virtual infrastructure as a service and that it provides efficiency, agility and control for building and operating private, public and hybrid clouds."

It wasn't that many VMworlds ago that virtualized servers were what IT was all about. This is still the case, generally, but as time goes on and IT infrastructure continues to converge, what results are entire data centers that use hundreds or thousands of servers for many different purposes but are controlled by one master operating system.

That system could be VMware vSphere and EVO SDDC, newcomer Mesosphere, or a containerized system such as Docker, Google Kubernetes or CoreOS Tectonic, to name three.

EVO SDDC includes foundational components of VMware's hyper-converged infrastructure–VMware vSphere (for computing), VMware Virtual SAN (storage) and VMware NSX (networking)–which enable the convergence of compute, storage and networking onto a single, integrated layer of software that can run on any commodity x86 infrastructure, Raghuram said. VMware vRealize handles the cloud operations part of the suite.

EVO SDDC also includes EVO SDDC Manager, a new intelligent automation engine that will simplify and significantly reduce the time required for power-up, provisioning and monitoring of virtual and physical resources, including software, servers, top-of-rack and spine switches.

The EVO SDDC Manager pools resources across multiple racks—in effect, as a single "virtual rack"—and can dynamically carve out workload domain capacity based on availability and performance requirements, Raghuram said.

VMware vRealize Operations provides intelligent operations management across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures using predictive analytics and policy-based automation, Raghuram said. The combination of vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight enables IT teams to combine and analyze structured and unstructured data for end-to-end operations management to help them improve overall performance and avert disruptions.

EVO SDDC also includes Hardware Management Services to abstract the characteristics of heterogeneous switching, server and power distribution unit (PDU) hardware. Hardware Management Services will be responsible for executing hardware management tasks.

VMware intends to offer this solution as open-source code, enabling the company to work with a widespread ecosystem of partners to drive ongoing development leading to better hardware compatibility, said VMware Cloud/Native Apps CTO Kit Colbert.

EVO SDDC users will be able to add VMware Horizon virtual desktops and VMware vRealize Automation to enable infrastructure as a service, Raghuram said. In addition, VMware is exploring future integration between EVO SDDC and vCloud Director and VMware Integrated OpenStack to support service provider environments, he said.

Rack-scale offerings built and managed with EVO SDDC will scale in capacity starting from one-third rack to multiple racks and thousands of nodes at single server increments. Each fully populated rack will support more than 1,000 infrastructure-as-a-service virtual machines or more than 2,000 desktop virtual machines, delivering a highly efficient and scalable infrastructure for cloud and virtual desktop deployments.

In 15 months since its initial release, more than 2,000 customers have adopted VMware's hyper-converged infrastructure stack globally.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...