Version 5.0 of the VMware Validated Design (VVD) approach to the SDDC was just released this week. The amount of work that has gone into this product from the team is very impressive.
As an architect, it is always the primary concern to meet business requirements, however, ease of implementation and care for operationalizing is often the rate determining factor for new technology (ie Experience with vSAN, NSX, SDDC product stack).
Also, it is common in larger enterprises for the project architect not be the person who configures the final platform for business use. The architect will often create a design, and assist via discussions with network teams, security and compliance etc. This can increase project elapsed time and increase the risk of incorrect deployment.
Within the new VVD 5.0 release, there are the expected improvements, such as an updated bill of materials using the latest software suite ( vSphere 6.7 U1, vSAN, vROps 7, etc ). However, another improvement which I feel that can really can help other architects deploy VMware SDDC solutions faster and more consistently for a variety of use cases is the new automated deployment approach.
This new process (similar to the VCF approach) not only helps reduce the time to deploy the actual VMware software components, but also allows an architect to make key decisions such as OEM choice, sizing, local integration standards and provide an implementation spreadsheet with a single iso file of the VVD software bundle to be used for implementation.
These spreadsheets can be used during an accelerated design process review using VVD material for
Once ready to deploy, the process uses a new cloud builder appliance which is deployed by the implementation team and configured for the automation.
The configuration spreadsheets are converted by the cloud builder appliance into a JSON format and once validated, the platform can be deployed using a web portal (There are a few post-clean-up tasks such as updates to host profiles and passwords etc).
The end result is a known consistent platform based on a fully supported design using VVD documentation, and a set of reference endpoint information from the spreadsheets.
I have been working with the product in my lab today and while deploying I created an updated mind map for the latest VVD 5.0 release. I have also included my previous VVD post and recommended reference material in the links below.