To make vSphere compute, memory, and storage resources available to VMware Cloud Director, you create a provider virtual data center (VDC).

Before an organization can begin deploying VMs or creating catalogs, the system administrator must create a provider VDC and the organization VDCs that consume its resources. The relationship of provider VDCs to the organization VDCs they support is an administrative decision. The decision can be based on the scope of your service offerings, the capacity and geographical distribution of your vSphere infrastructure, and similar considerations. Because a provider VDC constrains the vSphere capacity and services available to tenants, system administrators commonly create provider VDCs that furnish different classes of service, as measured by performance, capacity, and features. Tenants can then be provisioned with organization VDCs that deliver specific classes of service defined by the configuration of the backing provider VDC.

Before you create a provider VDC, consider the set of vSphere capabilities that you plan to offer your tenants. Some of these capabilities can be implemented in the primary resource pool of the provider VDC. Others might require you to create additional resource pools based on specially configured vSphere clusters and add them to the VDC as described in Add a Resource Pool to a Provider Virtual Data Center.

The range of ESXi releases installed on hosts in the cluster backing a resource pool determines the set of guest operating systems and virtual hardware versions available to VMs deployed in organization VDCs backed by the provider VDC.


  • Log in to the Service Provider Admin Portal as a system administrator.
  • Verify that you created the target primary resource pool with available capacity in a cluster configured to use automated DRS. You can use a resource pool for only one provider VDC. To create a resource pool, you can use the vSphere Client.

    If you plan to use a resource pool that is part of a cluster that uses vSphere High Availability (HA), verify that you are familiar with how vSphere HA calculates the slot size. For information about slot sizes and customizing vSphere HA behavior, see the vSphere Availability documentation.

  • If you use NSX Data Center for vSphere for the network resources of the provider VDC:
    • Verify that the vCenter Server instance that contains the target primary resource pool is attached and has a NSX Data Center for vSphere license key.
    • Set up the VXLAN infrastructure in NSX Manager. See the relevant NSX Administration Guide.

      If you want to use a custom VXLAN network pool in this provider VDC instead of the default VXLAN network pool, create that network pool now. See Create a Network Pool Backed by an NSX Data Center for vSphere Transport Zone.

  • If you use NSX-T Data Center for the network resources of the provider VDC:


  1. From the top navigation bar, under Resources, select Cloud Resources.
  2. In the left panel, select Provider VDCs.
  3. Click New.
  4. If you have a multisite VMware Cloud Director deployment, from the Site drop-don menu, select the site to which you want to add this provider VDC instance, and click Next.
  5. Enter a name and, optionally, a description for the provider VDC.
    You can use these text boxes to indicate the vSphere features available to organization VDCs backed by this provider VDC, for example, vSphere HA or Storage policies with IOPS support.
  6. (Optional) To disable the provider VDC upon creation, turn off the State toggle.
    You cannot use the compute and storage resources of a disabled VDC for the creation of organization VDCs.
  7. Click Next.
  8. To provide resource pools for the provider VDC, select a vCenter Server instance, and click Next.
    This page lists vCenter Server instances registered to VMware Cloud Director. Clicking a vCenter Server instance shows its available resource pools.
  9. Select a resource pool to serve as the primary resource pool for this provider VDC.
    You can use one resource pool for one provider VDC. When you add a resource pool to a provider VDC, this resource pool and its parent chain become unavailable for selection for other provider VDCs.
  10. Select the highest virtual hardware version you want the provider VDC to support, and click Next.
    The system determines the highest virtual hardware version supported by all hosts in the cluster that backs the resource pool and offers it as the default in the Highest supported hardware version drop-down menu. You can use this default or select a lower hardware version from the menu. The version you specify becomes the highest virtual hardware version available to a VM deployed in an organization VDC backed by this provider VDC. If you select a lower virtual hardware version, some guest operating systems might not be supported for use by those VMs. Once you create the provider VDC with the selected hardware version, you can only upgrade the version, you cannot downgrade it.
    Note: The available hardware version for the provider VDC depends on the highest available version of the ESXi host in the target cluster. If the highest supported hardware version of the ESXi host is not available for selection, verify in the vSphere Client that the default compatibility for virtual machine creation on the data center is set to Use datacenter setting and host version. You can also set the default compatibility setting to the highest hardware version you want for the cluster.

    The highest supported virtual machine hardware version in VMware Cloud Director 10.1.0 is version 15. Hardware version 15 is available when you enable it in the vCenter Server instance on the cluster or data center level.

  11. Select one or more storage policies for the provider VDC, and click Next.
    All vSphere storage policies supported by the resource pool you selected are listed.
  12. Configure the network pool for this provider VDC.
    Every provider VDC must have a network pool. You can have the system create one for you with a default scope, or you can use a custom VXLAN based on a specific NSX Data Center for vSphere or a Geneve pool based on a NSX-T Data Center transport zone.
    Option Description
    Create a default VXLAN Network Pool The system creates a VXLAN pool for this provider VDC.
    Select VXLAN Network Pool from list You select a network pool from a list so that you use a custom VXLAN pool based on a specific NSX transport zone.
    Select NSX-T Manager and Geneve Network pool You select a network pool from a list so that you use a custom VXLAN pool backed by an NSX-T Data Center transport zone.
  13. Review your choices and click Finish to create the provider VDC.

What to do next

You can add secondary resource pools that enable the provider VDC to provide specialized capabilities such as Edge clusters, affinity groups, and hosts with special configurations that some organizations might require. See Add a Resource Pool to a Provider Virtual Data Center.