To start deploying VMware Aria Suite, you need only a small number of physical hosts. The best and most secure basis for scaling your environment is to distribute your hosts into management, edge, and payload clusters to establish the foundation of a deployment that can later scale to tens of thousands of VMs.

The clusters run the entire VMware Aria Suite infrastructure, including customer workloads.

Deploying and using VMware Aria Suite involves technological and operational transformation. As new technologies are deployed in the data center, your organization must also implement appropriate processes and assign the necessary roles. For example, you might need processes to handle new information that is collected. Each management product needs one or more administrators, some of whom might have varying levels of access.

The diagram shows technological capabilities and organizational constructs.

Figure 1. Conceptual Design of a VMware Aria Suite Environment

Hosts and clusters in a VMware Aria Suite environment

The clusters, each with a minimum of three hosts, are the basis for your VMware Aria Suite implementation.

Management cluster

The hosts in the management cluster run the management components required to support the SDDC. A single management cluster is required for each physical location. You can manually install ESXi hosts that run the management cluster and configure them to use local hard drives to boot.

A management cluster provides resource isolation. Production applications, test applications, and other types of applications cannot use the cluster resources reserved for management, monitoring, and infrastructure services. Resource isolation helps management and infrastructure services to operate at optimum performance level. A separate cluster can satisfy an organization's policy to have physical isolation between management and customer payload hardware.

Edge cluster

The edge cluster supports network devices that provide interconnectivity between environments. It provides protected capacity by which internal data center networks connect through gateways to external networks. Networking edge services and network traffic management take place in the cluster. All external-facing network connectivity terminates in this cluster.

A dedicated vCenter Server instance that is paired with VMwareNSXmanages the ESXi hosts in the edge cluster. The same vCenter Server instance manages the payload clusters that require access to external networks.

The edge cluster can be small and can consist of ESXi hosts that have less capacity than those in the management and payload clusters.

Payload cluster

The payload cluster supports the delivery of all other, non-edge client workloads. The cluster remains empty until a consumer of the environment begins to populate it with virtual machines. You can scale up by adding more payload clusters.

As the data center grows in size you can create new edge and payload clusters, scale up by adding resources, or scale out by adding hosts.