VCF 4.4 Design Considerations
On the 10th February VCF 4.4 was released, this was quite a significant milestone as it removed a few things from the equation and also provided more flexbility.
Firstly and arguably the big change.
vRealize Lifecycle Manager 8.6.2, upgrade and deployment of the vRealize Suite products is managed by vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. You can upgrade vRealize Suite products as new versions become available in your vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager will only allow upgrades to compatible and supported versions of vRealize Suite products. Specific vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight, and Workspace ONE Access versions will no longer be listed in the VMware Cloud Foundation BOM.
VCF and the vRealize Suite are now no longer lock-stepped together, for a lot of our customers this is fantastic news, historically the vRealize Suite products have had a release cadence that was far faster than VCF ever could be, but to the frustration of many customers those great new features in any given vRealize product were not accessible as they were tied to the supported product version for their VCF deployment.
The great news here is that any VMware products associated with VCF (in the BOM) no longer have any Log4J concerns, VMware have completely resolved (as opposed to patched/hotfixed) any known Log4J vulnerabilities. This in itself is a compelling reason to upgrade to 4.4 for anyone only previous versions of VCF 4.x
SSH disabled on ESXi hosts: This release disables the SSH service on ESXi hosts by default, following the vSphere security configuration guide recommendation. This applies to new and upgraded VMware Cloud Foundation 4.4 deployments.
Previous versions of VCF required/needed ESXi hosts to have SSH enabled which did not always sit well with customers.
Multi-Instance Management is deprecated: The Multi-Instance Management Dashboard is no longer available in the SDDC Manager UI.
For anyone currently using multiple instances of VCF the federation feature was useful as it gave you a global view of your VCF estate. THis is now fully deprecated. I suspect the best stratgey to mitigate this would be to utilise vRealize Operations with the SDDC Management Pack, but it would be by no means be the only option.
2-node vSphere clusters are supported when using NFS, VMFS on FC, or vVols as the principal storage for the cluster: This feature does not apply when using vSAN as principal storage or when using vSphere Lifecycle Manager baselines for updates.
This could be useful to many customers with satellite offices, branch offices, shops etc.. that need an on-prem cluster but are resource/cost constrained, it could be niche but additional options like this only strengthen VCF.
For more information on the VCF 4.4 release go here - https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-Foundation/4.4/rn/VMware-Cloud-Foundation-44-Release-Notes.html