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VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 Now Generally Available

by Harold Fritts

VMware has announced general availability for VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 (VCF) with integration for NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite. VCF 4.4 delivers the latest innovations in full-stack Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) as a hybrid cloud platform. We did a deep dive about a year ago when Dell and EMC were still married. You can read about that here. That piece got into details about using VxRail as a simplified method of building a Hybrid Cloud solution.

VMware has announced general availability for VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 (VCF) with integration for NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite. VCF 4.4 delivers the latest innovations in full-stack Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) as a hybrid cloud platform. We did a deep dive about a year ago when Dell and EMC were still married. You can read about that here. That piece got into details about using VxRail as a simplified method of building a Hybrid Cloud solution.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 Updates

In addition to the integration of NVIDIA AI, VCF 4.4 brings together a number of new features, including:

  • Flexible vRealize Product upgrades
  • Upgrade precheck improvements
  • Disabling SSH on ESXi Hosts
  • User Activity Logging
  • Multiple security fixes

With the NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite addition, the new release delivers enhanced AI/ML workload support along with the ability to share vGPU’s across multiple instances. NVIDIA’s accelerated computing expertise, GPU virtualization technology, and prebuilt sets of AI software deliver tools that data scientists can use to create and deploy apps quickly and easily. All these new innovations are available in VMware’s hybrid cloud platform.
vmware cloud foundation 4.4

Combining the strengths of VMware and NVIDIA elevates the VCF solution by delivering an AI-Ready Infrastructure. Support for VM and container-based workloads integrated with NVIDIA AI Enterprise enables deployment of AI on NVIDIA-Certified Servers from leading manufacturers with simplicity at production scale. This solution enables IT infrastructure teams to stand up VM and Kubernetes clusters using NVIDIA AI Enterprise with VMware Cloud Foundation. In addition to the accelerated performance characteristics, this solution reduces time to market, minimizes deployment risk, and lowers the total cost of ownership.

vSphere Admins Maintain Full Control of Infrastructure Resources

Admins can deploy, configure, and manage this infrastructure while leveraging the cloud operating model software-defined environment. vSphere admins configure and control access to the AI/ML optimized resources for access to developers and data scientists on-demand using standardized HCI building blocks. VM or Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) workloads can then be configured to consume GPU resources from a selection of pre-configured profiles. NVIDIA Guest OS drivers are installed to allow the workload to integrate with the many AI/ML functions contained within the NVIDIA AI Enterprise suite.

 

Dell Technologies, NVIDIA, and VMware

Building on the partnership between Dell Technologies, VMware, and NVIDIA, Dell Technologies also announced support for the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software suite and GPUs within VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 on VxRail 7.0.320. Customers running VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail can run their AI and ML workloads on a turnkey hybrid cloud for a simplified experience.

Summary

VCF 4.4 delivers a number of enhancements with this release. In summary, you can expect a more robust and flexible hybrid cloud deployment. The features include:

  • Enhanced AI/ML workload support with NVIDIA AI Enterprise Suite and ability to share vGPUs across multiple instances.
  • vRealize Product Upgrades: VCF 4.4 customers will be able to upgrade vRealize products directly through vRealize Lifecycle Manager. Deployment and Upgrade of vRealize products will be managed through vRealize Lifecycle Manager.
  • Upgrade prechecks: In an effort to identify issues and enable a smooth upgrade process, prechecks have been expanded to verify filesystem capacity, file permissions, and passwords.
  • Disable SSH on ESXi Hosts: SSH service can be disabled on ESXi hosts in a VCF instance, following the vSphere security configuration guide recommendation
  • User Activity Logging: New activity logs will capture all the API invocation calls, along with sufficient User context. User Login/Logout to the UI will also be captured
  • Security fixes: This release includes security fixes for Apache Log4j Remote Code Execution Vulnerability and Apache HTTP Server.

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