VxRail – VVD 4.3 (Notes)

VMware Validated Design for SDDC on VxRail

Dell EMC VxRail and VMware Validated Design (VVD) brief notes:


  • VxRail was the first HCI appliance certified to run VVD.
  • For a list of the VVD 4.3 BOM see here.
  • VxRail & VVD BOM alignment delivered by both VMware and Dell EMC.
  • VVD 4.3 includes vSphere 6.5U2 – requires VxRail code versions 4.5 which include 6.5U2.
  • VxRail 4.5.225 or later recommended (4.7 targeted for .next VVD release).
  • VVD certification offers documented guidance on how to deploy the vRealize Suite (vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Business for Cloud and vRealize Log Insight) and NSX on VxRail.
  • VVD on VxRail arch includes two workload domains (wld’s) ‘management’ & ‘vi’ (includes shared edge and compute cluster) based on the VMware Standard VVD design.
  • VxRail E or P series are the recommended models for the management domains.
  • More detail for VVD on VxRail sizing here.
  • Recommend deploying VxRail Appliances with 4x 10Gbe (2 NICs used today with additional 2 NICs to cater for future VVD/VCF designs).
  • VxRail ESXi clusters remain fully life cycle managed by VxRail Manager (updates include ESXi, vSAN, Firmware, and the VIBs/Agents). vCenter and PSCs can be lcm leveraging VMware Update Manager (VUM).
  • vSAN is the primary storage used for both the Management domains.
  • 3x deployment options including DR and Stretch Clustering:
  • Dell switch configuration guidance for VVD can be found here.
  • Multi-AZ design with vSAN stretched cluster supported with up to 5ms RTT latency between Availability Zones and 10Gbps b/w.
  • Multi-Region design supports latency between regions up to 150ms.
  • vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSLCM) utilized for the automated deployment of the vRealize Suite products namely: vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Business for Cloud and vRealize Log Insight.
  • vCenters and their associated PSCs reside in the management domain. VVD design requires that both the management & workload vCenters and PSCs must be deployed in the management domain VxRail.
  • VxRail Manager responsible for the deployment and LCM of ESXi, vSAN, cluster ops (create, add host, etc.) and ESRS.
  • DUAL Region VVD configurations have a single SSO Domain spanning 2 sites (consisting of 4X VxRails, 2 per site).
  • VVD supports a VADP compatible backup solution for integration with vSphere, for example Dell EMC Avamar or Networker.
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication to perform site protection and recovery of the Cloud Management Platform(CMP) that consists of vRealize Automation with embedded vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Business, vRealize Operations Manager analytics cluster, and vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. VVD 4.3 Site Protection and Recovery guide can be found here.
  • Non-VVD vRealize Automation endpoints are supported natively by vRA, see VVD documentation guidance.
  • Dell EMC community VVD on VxRail landing page.
  • Useful reference: Dell EMC™ VxRail™ – Accelerating the Journey to VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)






VVD on VxRail – Shared Edge & Compute Domain (External vCenter Installation)

Note: this is an example for reference only please use the VxRail ‘External vCenter’ installation procedures provided by Dell EMC.

The following will require an understanding of the VVD on VxRAIL design for which all associated documentation can be found here:

VMware Validated Design 4.2 on VxRail Deployment Guides

This post details how to install a VxRail appliance leveraging an external vCenter server, for example this is the case when you wish to deploy a VVD on VxRail solution where the second VxRail instance used for the Shared Edge and Compute Domain (Workload Domain) requires the use of an external vCenter (vCenter is deployed on the Management Domain VxRail Appliance). This process is strictly for the workload domain  and differs from the procedure used to deploy the first Management Domain VxRail Appliance. For more information on the architecture of VVD on VxRail please check out this cool lightboard video from Jason:

VVD for SDDC on VxRail Lightboard Overview

To begin you will need to have the Shared Edge and Compute Domain (Workload Domain) vCenter deployed on the management VxRAIL Appliance. Continue reading