Depending on your needs, you can have different configurations of your VMware Cloud Director appliance based server group and different sizes of the VMware Cloud Director virtual appliance instances.


To ensure that the cluster can support an automated failover if a primary cell failure occurs, the minimal VMware Cloud Director deployment must consist of one primary and two standby cells. The environment remains available under any failure scenario where one of the cells goes offline for any reason. If a standby failure occurs, until you redeploy the failed cell, the cluster operates in a fully functional state with some performance degradation. See Appliance Deployments and Database High Availability Configuration.

The VMware Cloud Director appliance has four sizes that you can select during the deployment: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large (VVD). The Small appliance size is suitable for lab evaluation and this document does not provide guidance on the Small appliance configuration. The sizing options table provides the specifications for the remaining options and the most suitable use cases for a production environment. The Extra Large configuration matches the VMware Validated Designs (VVD) for Cloud Providers scale profile.

To create larger custom sizes, system administrators can adjust the size of the deployed cells.

The smallest recommended configuration for production deployments is a three-node deployment of Medium size virtual appliances.

Important: VMware does not provide support for VMware Cloud Director appliance deployments without database HA.

VMware Cloud Director Appliance Sizing Options

You can use the following decision guide to estimate the appliance size for your environment.

Medium Large Extra Large (VVD)
Recommended use cases Lab or small production environments Production environment Production with API integrations and monitoring
vRealize Operations Management Pack deployment in the VMware Cloud Director environment No No Yes
Cassandra VM metrics enablement in VMware Cloud Director No No Yes
Approximate number of concurrent users or clients accessing the API over a peak 30 minute period. < 50 < 100 < 100
Managed VMs 5000 5000 15000

Configuration Definitions

Medium Large Extra Large (VVD)
HA cluster configuration 1 primary + 2 standby cells 1 primary + 2 standby + 1 application cells 1 primary + 2 standby + 2 application cells
Primary or standby cell vCPUs 8 16 24
Application cell vCPUs N/A 8 8
Primary or standby cell RAM 16 GB 24 GB 32 GB
Application cell RAM N/A 8 8
vCPU to physical core ratio 1:1 1:1 1:1
Minimum disk space for each appliance in the cluster 112 GB 112 GB 112 GB

How to Detect If Your System Is Undersized

In a VMware Cloud Director cell, the CPU or memory use grows and reaches a plateau at a high level, that is, a level near capacity. The VMware Cloud Director cell might also lose the connection to the database.

How to Detect If Your System Number of Cells Are Insufficient

In the vcloud-container-debug.log and cell-runtime.log files of any of the VMware Cloud Director cells, you see entries similar to org.apache.tomcat.jdbc.pool.PoolExhaustedException: [pool-jetty-XXXXX] Timeout: Pool empty. Unable to fetch a connection in 20 seconds, none available. The VMware Cloud Director cell might also lose the connection to the database.

Based on the default database connection configuration, all configurations are limited to a maximum of 6 cells of primary, standby and application type.

Automatic Configuration of the vPostgres Database Parameters

The VMware Cloud Director appliance runs a script at boot time that evaluates memory and CPU resources at the operating system level. The script adjusts the following vPostgres database parameters in accordance with the VMware guidelines:
  • shared_buffers
  • effective_cache_size
  • max_worker_processes
When the script runs, VMware Cloud Director saves the adjustments and starts the vPostgres service.
Note: Starting with VMware Cloud Director 10.3, you do not need to customize the configuration of the vPostgres parameters.