In this blog post, we are taking a closer look at APEX Cloud Platform (ACP) Foundation Software and why it is a key differentiator in the industry.

ACP Foundation Software is the core management and automation solution for the ACP family - it is certainly the secret sauce of the ACP portfolio.

Today's converged and hyper-converged offerings deliver management and orchestration outcomes depending on the hypervisor or operating system stack. 
For example, in the Dell's portfolio, VxRail offers VMware vSphere customers significantly more automation and orchestration functionality than vSAN ReadyNodes.
In contrast, ACP Foundation Software will deliver consistent outcomes regardless of the partner stack by leveraging the same management and orchestration software.
A customer can select the "flavor" of choice, i.e. Microsoft, Red Hat or VMware, and have the same functionality such as full stack lifecycle management, node management and integrated support.

The integrated ACP Foundation Software extends our partner's native ecosystem capabilities to deliver a seamless, automated, operational experience, that keeps your infrastructure in a Continuously Validated State, so your workloads stay up and running and you can focus on the application and not on the bits and bytes of the infrastructure underneath.

Native Management Console:

ACP Foundation Software is natively integrated into the management platform of each respective partner solution. This means that administrators can continue to use the tools they are used to and don't need to leave that management interface for any day to day operation.

For example for ACP for Microsoft Azure, cluster-level management, you can utilize our Windows Admin Center extension which integrates into the APEX Cloud Platform Foundation Software.

Similarly for ACP for RedHat OpenShift, we integrated all management aspects into the OpenShift Container Platform web console.

Full Stack Lifecycle Management:

How many times have you had to test the pieces to an upgrade or security patch before you can actually put it into your production environment? How much time did it take? 
ACP Foundation Software alleviates the heavy lift and you can rest assured that we have tested and validated all the components in the stack.
ACP Foundation Software provides intelligent lifecycle management and identifies the optimal state to update your clusters with pre-validated, pre-tested software, and firmware.
The lifecyle management steps include: 
  • Plan: Schedule and run upgrade health checks in advance of upgrades to ensure clusters are in a ready state for the next upgrade or patch
  • Execute: Automate single-click full-stack patching and updating in pre-determined sequences
  • Sustain: Record every component change from one validated state to the next with compliance reporting

Automated Deployment & Node Management:

All of the ACP flavors include a automated deployment process that contains all infrastructure and cloud stack software components. 

When it comes to deployment it’s tempting to say "well that’s only a one time operation, it’s not that important" - no, but it’s super important.

First of all, it reduces time to value, so that applications can be deployed. Secondly, it's not only about deployment time but an automated consistent deployment is what provides the foundation for a reliable solution, that customers can depend on.

Besides the initial deployment, all aspects about node management are automated. Cluster can be scaled out using the native management interface of each respective ecosystem.

Integrated Serviceability:

ACP Foundation Software provides integrated serviceability, that includes Dell Secure Connect Gateway for call-home and proactive two-way remote connection for remote monitoring, diagnosis, and repair through the entire lifecycle process to ensure maximum availability.

Restful APIs:

ACP Foundation Software provides a programmable interface, that exposes management functions via  RESTful APIs. This enables enterprises to orchestrate their system management and reduces the administrator's time spent monitoring the solution using traditional web interfaces.
Especially when managing large or multi cluster deployments this provides true advantages.

ACP Foundation Software includes APIs that help you to leverage the full power of automation and orchestration services across your data center.

This extensibility lets you build, operate, and automate your infrastructure with cloud-like scale and agility, while streamlining your IT environment and processes.