vCloud Director derives its resources from an underlying vSphere virtual infrastructure. After you register vSphere resources in vCloud Director, you can allocate these resources for organizations within the vSphere installation to use.

vCloud Director uses one or more vCenter Server environments to back its virtual data centers. Starting with version 9.7, vCloud Director can also use a vCenter Server environment to encapsulate an SDDC with one or more proxies. You can enable tenants to use these proxies as access points to the underlying vSphere environment from vCloud Director with their vCloud Director accounts.

Before you can use a vCenter Server instance in vCloud Director, you must attach this vCenter Server instance.

When you create a provider virtual data center backed by an attached vCenter Server instance, this vCenter Server instance appears as published to a service provider, also called provider scoped. For information about creating a provider virtual data center, see Create a Provider Virtual Data Center.

When you create an SDDC that encapsulates an attached vCenter Server instance, you dedicated the vCenter Server to a tenant. This vCenter Server instance appears as published to a tenant, also called tenant scoped. For information about creating an SDDC, see Managing Dedicated vCenter Server Instances and Proxies.

Note: By default, with an attached vCenter Server instance, you can create either a provider VDC or a dedicated vCenter Server instance. If you created a provider VDC backed by an vCenter Server instance, you cannot use this vCenter Server instance to create a dedicated vCenter Server instance, and the reverse.