This VMware Cloud Foundation spotlight article summarizes the latest information we have seen from VMware by Broadcom in June 2024. Big milestones and VERY exciting enhancements!

VMware Cloud Foundation 5.2

VMware by Broadcom introduces new features that a lot of customers have been waiting for:

  • VCF Import
  • VCF Edge
  • Independent TKG Service
  • vSAN enhancements
  • Dual-DPU support (active/standby and “max performance mode” (two independent DPUs))
  • vSAN data protection in ESA

Here is the VCF 5.2 bill of materials:

  • SDDC Manager 5.2 (Cloud Builder 5.2)
  • vSphere 8.0 U2 (ESXi 8.0 U3, vCenter 8.0 U3, TKG Standard Runtime 8.0 U3)
  • vSAN 8.0 U3
  • NSX 4.2.0
  • VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle 8.18 (Aria suite component versions are the same)
  • HCX 4.10
  • Aria Operations for Networks 6.12.1
  • Data Services Manager 2.0

Import vSphere Clusters to VMware Cloud Foundation

Customers can now easily import existing vSphere-based infrastructures to VCF!

VCF 5.2 vSphere Import

Please note that the are limitations when doing a VCF import in 5.2:

  • Storage must be vSAN, NFS, or VMFS-FC
  • When importing vSphere with vSAN, then “compression only” is not supported
  • VMkernel IPs must be static (no DHCP supported)
  • Importing VxRail clusters is not supported
  • Imported workload domains have no NSX requirement (configure the WLD using vSphere networking only)

Please note that cluster-level operations like adding or removing a host

VCF Edge

VMware Cloud Foundation Edge brings new possibilities and new supported architectures with it.

VCF 5.2 Edge

Important: A minimum of 25 sites is required, and a maximum of 256 cores per edge site

Edge customers receive the flexibility to start small with 1-node deployments!

Independent TKG Service

Finally! VMware by Broadcom decoupled the TKG Service from vCenter releases! In other words, vSphere/VCF admins can now independently upgrade the TKG Service without having to upgrade vCenter. 🙂

VCF 5.2 Independent TKG Service

This allows customers to upgrade the TKG service independently and to ship new Kubernetes versions faster.

More information about VMware Cloud Foundation 5.2 can be found here: https://blogs.vmware.com/cloud-foundation/2024/06/25/vmware-cloud-foundation-launch/ 

vSphere 8.0 Update 3

VMware Cloud Foundation 5.2 and vSphere Foundation 5.2 are both shipped with vSphere 8.0 U3. Here are some of the highlights that can come with this fantastic release:

The vCenter Server 8.0 Update 3 release notes can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/8.0/rn/vsphere-vcenter-server-803-release-notes/index.html

vSphere Live Patch

With the new Live Patching capability in ESXi, customers can address critical bugs in the virtual machine execution environment and apply patches to all components without reboot or VM evacuation. Virtual machines are Fast-Suspend-Resumed (FSR) as part of the host remediation process. As part of this action, a host enters partial maintenance mode, a new mount revision is loaded and patched and the VM is then fast-suspend-resumed to consume the patched mount revision. This action is non-disruptive to most virtual machines!

vSphere 8.0U3 Partial Maintenance Mode    vSphere 8.0U3 Live Patch Eligibility

 

vSphere IaaS Control Plane

Formerly known as “vSphere with Tanzu” or “TKGS”, VMware by Broadcom introduces the new name “vSphere IaaS Control Plane“, a declarative API that is embedded in the vSphere platform.

vSphere IaaS Control Plane

The vSphere IaaS Control Plane 8.0 Update 3 release notes can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/8.0/rn/vmware-vsphere-with-tanzu-80-release-notes/index.html

Autoscaling for Kubernetes Clusters

As part of the IaaS control plane, VMware by Broadcom introduces autoscaling for Kubernetes clusters using the “Cluster Autoscaler“.

vSphere 8.0U3 K8s Autoscaling

Cluster autoscaler can be installed as a standard package using kubectl or tanzu cli. The package version must match the minor Kubernetes versions, for example, in order to install the package on Kubernetes cluster version v1.26.5, you will have to install cluster autoscaler package version v1.26.2.

Minimum required version for cluster autoscaler is v1.25.

vSAN Stretched Cluster Support

Customers can now deploy the Supervisor on a vSAN stretched clusters, that spans two physical locations or sites.

Active/Active Deployment

vSAN 8.0 Update 3

vSAN 8.0 Update 3 introduces the following new features and enhancements:

  • Capacity-based licensing (1TiB entitlement for vSAN capacity per VCF core) for VCF 5.2
  • Stretched cluster support on vSAN ESA for VCF 5.2
  • vSAN Max as principal storage for VCF 5.2

From now on VCF customers can use vSAN Max as their primary, centralized shared storage solution for all of their VMware Cloud Foundation workloads!

VCF 5.2 vSAN Max Primary Storage

Did you know that you can use your vSAN entitlement (as part of VCF) for an aggregated HCI deployment (typical vSAN deployment) or a disaggregated deployment using vSAN Max: https://core.vmware.com/blog/starting-small-vsan-max

More details about the vSAN 8.0U3 release can be found here: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/8.0-Update-3/rn/vmware-vsan-803-release-notes/index.html and https://blogs.vmware.com/cloud-foundation/2024/06/25/vsan-8-update-3-initial-availability/

NSX ALB Integration with SDDC Manager

Starting with VCF 5.2, the NSX Advanced Load Balancer (aka Avi) integrates with the SDDC Manager. VCF admins have the option now to deploy Avi Controllers and Service Engines from SDDC Manager and to perform other lifecycle management tasks like password and certificate rotation related to the Avi Controller.

VCF 5.2 Deploy Avi from SDDC Manager

VCF 5.2 Technical Frequently Asked Questions

The technical FAQs can be found here: https://core.vmware.com/api/checkuseraccess?referer=/sites/default/files/associated-content/VCF_5_2_FAQ.pdf 

VMware Cloud Foundation 5.2 is GA (generally available) on July 22, 2024.

Let’s see what happens until then and what VMware by Broadcom announces at VMware Explore at the end of August. 🙂

VMware vSphere Foundation 5.2

The “what’s new” announcements for VVF 5.2 can be found here: https://blogs.vmware.com/cloud-foundation/2024/06/25/vmware-vsphere-foundation-launch-announcement/