Planning the Hardware Requirements for the VMware Cloud Foundation Management Domain, Part 2: Cloud Operations and Automation

In Part 1, we built the hardware build of materials and determined the utilization of a basic VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) management domain deployment. But we need to put the “cloud” in by adding automation and self-service capabilities provided by vRealize Suite. To accomplish that, we can use SDDC Manager to deploy all the components of the vRealize Suite: Operations, Automation, and Log Insight into the SDDC. In this post, we’ll explore the compute and storage requirements for these components like we did in the previous post. This is going to explore the components required for a single region SDDC. There are a few more steps and components needed for setting up Cross-Region support.

Deploying vRealize Suite in VCF has a few requirements as seen below (from Administration > vRealize Suite menu) will give a list of requirements to get it up and running:

Preparing to Deploy vRealize Suite

While we are initiating a deployment of vRealize Suite from SDDC Manager, SDDC Manager doesn’t deploy or maintain vRealize Suite itself; it calls upon vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRLCM) to deploy the components. Since this is likely the first software package you’re installing in VCF, you’ll need to download an install bundle. Once complete, you can download the vRealize Suite bundle and deploy vRealize Lifecycle Manager into VCF.

The second requirement is deploying Workspace ONE Access — what’s that? If you’ve been using VMware products for a while, you may recognize it’s former name: VMware Identity Manager. VMware Workspace ONE Access provides identity and access management services to the SDDC by integrating with existing on-premises infrastructure components such as Active Directory, RADIUS, and RSA SecurID. VMware Workspace ONE Access is provided as an OVA for easily deploying into the management cluster using vCenter.

vRealize Cloud Operations and Automation Components and Requirements

Installing vRealize Suite into VCF has more resource requirements since each product in the suite utilizes a cluster. Those resource requirements are found below. A VCF Management Domain with one VI workload domain and vRealize Suite is seen below:

Adding in vRealize Suite will have a substantial impact on resources and must be planned for accordingly. Can the BOM we configured in Part 1 be utilized for vRealize Suite as well?

For a refresher, our initial BOM was:

Server ComponentMinimum Requirements
Server Type4x vSAN ReadyNodes – All Flash
CPUAny supported
Memory256 GB per server
Storage (Boot)32 GB SATA-DOM or SD Card
Storage (Cache)1.2 TB Raw (2x disk groups, 600 GB cache each)
Storage (Capacity)10 TB Raw (2x disk groups, 5 TB each)
NIC2x 10 GbE and 1x 1 GbE BMC

vRealize Suite will consume the following resources in the management domain:

vRLCM26 GB49.8 GB
vROps Manager Analytics Cluster (x3)832 GBInitial: 274 GB
Analytics: 1 TB
vROps Manager Remote Collector (x2)24 GBn/a
vRLI 01 (x3)816 GB530 GB
vRA Cluster (x3)1240 GB234.5 GB
Workspace ONE Access (x3) – vRA & vROps816 GB195 GB
Workspace ONE Access (x3) – NSX-T & vRLI26 GB65 GB
Total116332 GB6815.3 GB

Now with the management domain components, one VI workload domain, and vRealize Suite, the management cluster will consume the following resources:

SDDC Manager416 GB800 GB
vCenter Server (Mgmt)419 GB480 GB
NSX-T Manager Cluster (Mgmt)2472 GB900 GB
NSX-T Edge Node Cluster (Mgmt)816 GB400 GB
vCenter Server (VI WLD)828 GB700 GB
NSX-T Manager Cluster (VI WLD)48144 GB900 GB
vRealize Suite (Above)116332 GB6815.3 GB
Total240573 GB10537.3 GB

Just a slightly bigger box. In fact, we just need a little more capacity to get to approximately 75% utilization. By doubling the size of the disks (3.84 TB vs 1.92 TB) in the vSAN Sizer, we get a little too much capacity. In this scenario, I would likely add a few more disks to the disk group instead of making all 4 disks double in size. Unfortunately, the vSAN Sizer doesn’t give me that granularity to illustrate but for this purpose, mission accomplished!

In the end, the goal of maintaining a four node management cluster is still achievable when adding vRealize Suite to a VCF Management Domain. HCI gives us the flexibility to scale up or scale out depending on the use case and need. In this scenario, we can scale up capacity to meet application demands without increasing licensing costs.

Once again, this has been a helpful exercise for me and I hope it was for you too. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn and say hello!


1 thought on “Planning the Hardware Requirements for the VMware Cloud Foundation Management Domain, Part 2: Cloud Operations and Automation

  1. Marc

    Hi Brandon. Thank you very much for the helpful post. Why are there two separate Clusters for Workspace ONE Access? Regards, Marc


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