VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) improves VMware admin productivity. Yet before it takes over, administrators must prepare the hardware precisely as recommended by the VMware Compatibility List (HCL) for each VCF cluster. RackN has been working with the VMware team to create an integrated software solution that provides bare-metal automation that improve hardware bootstrapping capabilities. This enables the creation of fully functioning secure VCF clusters in minutes.

RackN Extends VCF Automation to the Hardware Layer

A VCF deployment involves hardware conformance that is ever-evolving. For this reason, even the bare metal validation requirements of a deployment can trip up even the most attentive systems administrator.

For example, embedded trusted platform modules (TPM) present in most servers provide highly desirable security. However, TPM is notoriously challenging to configure. Other examples of landmines to a well-planned deployments are managing site naming conventions and password security requirements.

RackN Integrated Bare Metal Automation eliminates all manual intstallation steps. It fully automates VMware infrastructure from bare metal via the Digital Rebar Platform. Additionally, the solution adheres to the VMware HCL, creating automation that prepares the hardware to host fully functioning clusters from bare metal. The VMware workflow automation includes deep inventory, system HCL validation and firmware deployment for multiple hardware vendors.

Architectural Challenges Solved Using RackN

Here are some of real-world challenges we’ve solved for our customers.

  • Animation of RackN Digital Rebar Provisioning Workflow
    Narrated animation explaining RackN Digital Rebar Provisioning Workflow

    Multi-site Requirements: An automated, no-touch way to prepare thousands of servers for VCF installation. This automated method tightly must integrate with existing VCF management and adhere to the HCL.

  • Highly Secure: Demanding security requirements for each server. Requirements include unique passwords, custom passwords, properly signed certificates, specific VLANs enabled and the enablement of Secure Boot.
  • Time to Market: Many times, new server hardware spend 6 months on the data center floor before VCF clusters are deployed! Because this wastes resources, a faster way to deploy servers for VCF clusters is required.

Details in This Solution Brief

Read more about how RackN is helping VMware’s customers be even more successful with VMware Cloud Foundation in this white paper.

VMware RackN Integrations 08 2020

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