VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1 is now GA!

This release brings a lot of new features to Cloud Foundation. I’m doing a deep dive into some of these features:

This is something that was made available in NSX 3.2.2 but has yet to make its debut to VCF.

Today if you want to deploy a stretch/L3 cluster in VCF, you must use DHCP for the host TEPs. Well, with VCF 5.1, this changes. We now support both DHCP and IP POOLS! for stretched/L3 aware clusters.

Deprecation Notices

  • The VMware Imaging Appliance (VIA), included with the VMware Cloud Builder appliance to image ESXi servers, is deprecated and removed. Check out go-via!
  • Starting with VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1, Configuration Drift Bundles are no longer needed as part of the upgrade process and are now deprecated.
  • The Composable Infrastructure feature is deprecated in VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1 and will be removed in a future release.

What’s New

The VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) 5.1 release includes the following:

  • Support for vSAN ESA: Enhanced data path for vSAN to support next generation of devices, which includes native snapshots and enhanced Data-At-Rest and checksum mechanisms
  • Non-DHCP option for Tunnel Endpoint (TEP) IP assignment: SDDC Manager now provides the option to select Static or DHCP-based IP assignments to Host TEPs for stretched clusters and L3 aware clusters.
  • vSphere Distributed Services engine for Ready nodes: AMD-Pensando and NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPUs are now supported. Offloading the Virtual Distributed Switch (VDS) and NSX network and security functions to the hardware provides significant performance improvements for low latency and high bandwidth applications. NSX distributed firewall processing is also offloaded from the server CPUs to the network silicon.
  • Multi-pNIC/Multi-vSphere Distributed Switch UI enhancements: VCF users can configure complex networking configurations, including more vSphere Distributed Switch and NSX switch-related configurations, through the SDDC Manager UI.
  • Distributed Virtual Port Group Separation for management domain appliances: Enables the traffic isolation between management VMs (such as SDDC Manager, NSX Manager, and vCenter) and ESXi Management VMkernel interfaces
  • Support for vSphere Lifecycle Manager images in management domain: You can deploy a management domain using vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) images during new a VCF instance deployment.
  • Mixed-mode Support for Workload Domains​: A VCF instance can exist in a mixed BOM state where the workload domains are on different VCF 5.x versions. Note: The management domain should be on the highest version in the instance.
  • Asynchronous update of the pre-check files: The upgrade pre-checks can be updated asynchronously with new pre-checks using a pre-check file provided by VMware. A new upgrade precheck package will be provided on an as-needed basis.
  • Workload domain NSX integration: Support for multiple NSX enabled VDSs for Distributed Firewall use cases
  • Tier-0/1 optional for VCF Edge cluster: When creating an Edge cluster with the VCF API, the Tier-0 and Tier-1 gateways are now optional.
  • VCF Edge nodes support static or pooled IP: When creating or expanding an Edge cluster using VCF APIs, Edge node TEP configuration may come from an NSX IP pool or be specified statically as in earlier releases.
  • Support for mixed license deployment: A combination of keyed and keyless licenses can be used within the same VCF instance.
  • Integration with Workspace ONE Broker: Provides identity federation and SSO across vCenter, NSX, and SDDC Manager. VCF administrators can add Okta to Workspace ONE Broker as a Day-N operation using the SDDC Manger UI.
  • VMware vRealize rebranding: VMware recently renamed vRealize Suite of products to VMware Aria Suite. See the Aria Naming Updates blog post for more details.

Software ComponentVersionDateBuild Number
Cloud Builder VM5.107 NOV 202322688368
SDDC Manager5.107 NOV 202322688368
VMware vCenter Server Appliance8.0 Update 2a26 OCT 202322617221
VMware ESXi8.0 Update 221 SEP 202322380479
VMware vSAN Witness Appliance8.0 Update 221 SEP 202322385739
VMware NSX4.1.2.17 NOV 202322667789
VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle8.1419 OCT 202322630473