VCDX – Enhanced Blueprint

Earlier this year RoundTower hosted the NPX Boot Camp in Cincinnati. During the three day boot camp one of the participants came up with a way to summarize requirements on a diagram during white-boarding which was very interesting.

Why am I blogging about it? One of the problems that I have always experienced as a consulting architect, is that the level of time and effort to produce VCDX-level designs for customers is actually cost-prohibitive and time-intensive. So how can I deliver sophisticated designs for customers on a budget with the minimum of risk?

List of articles in my VCDX Deep-Dive series (more than 80 posts)

This method is what I am using to deliver designs with less effort than producing extensive document sets. This method resonates with me, because I am spatially oriented and I can maintain a Visio template with the different solution areas, which allows me to effectively drag-and-drop to build a solution quickly.

Reviewers are appreciative because it is easy to understand and process, versus a few hundred pages of text.

Will you be able to submit this for VCDX? On its own, definitely not, because you do need the comprehensive design document, however you can use it to complement your design submission. You can also do this first to draft the “broad strokes” of your design, before getting into the detailed documentation.

Note that this does not replace the need for comprehensive support documentation (Implementation Plan, Configuration Guide, Test Plan and SOPs).

How does it work?

  • Create a Visio Document with the following pages (for the SDDC): Conceptual Model & Logical Design, Physical Design Overview, Management & Control Plane, Compute, Network, Storage, Data Protection & BC/DR, Cloud Management Platform and Data Center Facilities (and any other necessary physical design areas).
  • On the Conceptual Model & Logical Design page, create a text box with the Requirements, Constraints and Assumptions, each uniquely labelled as Rnn, Cnn and Ann. Then create a logical design diagram and label the logical design components with a Conceptual Model label. Also label each logical design component/square with a logical design label, LDnn.
  • Then build out the Physical Design diagrams and label each physical design component with the driving requirement (Rnn), constraint (Cnn), assumption (Ann) or logical design decision (LDnn).
  • Please refer to this example to visualize what I am talking about.

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Chief Enterprise Architect and Strategist, 4xVCDX#133, NPX#8, DECM-EA.