A system administrator must create a provider virtual datacenter (Provider VDC) to make vSphere compute, memory, and storage resources available to vCloud Director.

A system administrator must create a Provider VDC and the organization VDCs that consume its resources before any organization can begin deploying VMs or creating catalogs. The relationship of Provider VDCs to the organization VDCs they support is an administrative decision that 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, think about 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, but 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 VDC.
  • Capabilities such as IOPS support and VM-Host affinity rules require underlying support configured in the vCenter Server that backs the Provider VDC (see Configure Storage I/O Control Support in a Provider VDC and Creating and Managing VM-Host Affinity Rules).
  • 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.
  • You can create resource pools backed by vSphere clusters that are optimally configured for hosting NSX edges that have VLAN uplinks, then use vCloud Director metadata to indicate that the system should place organization VDC Edge Gateways in resource pools backed by those clusters. For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base Article https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2151398.


  • This operation is restricted to system administrators.

  • Verify that at least one vCenter Server is attached and has a resource pool with available capacity in a cluster configured to use automated DRS. The vCenter Server must have the NSX license key.
  • Set up the VXLAN infrastructure in NSX Manager. See the 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 VXLAN-Backed Network Pool for an NSX Transport Zone.


  1. Click the Manage & Monitor tab and click Provider VDCs in the left pane.
  2. Click New Provider VDC.
  3. Type a name and optional description for the Provider VDC.
    You can use these fields to indicate the vSphere functions available to organization VDCs backed by this Provider VDC, for example, vSphere HA or storage policies with IOPS support. Select Enabled to enable the Provider VDC upon creation.

    Click Next to save your changes and continue.

  4. Select a vCenter Server and resource pool to serve as the primary resource pool for this Provider VDC.
    This page lists vCenter Servers registered to vCloud Director. Click a vCenter Server to show its available resource pools. If no resource pools are shown for a vCenter Server, use the vSphere client to create a new resource pool on that server.

    Click Next to save your changes and continue.

  5. Add a storage policy.
    All vSphere storage policies supported by the resource pool you selected in Step 4 are listed. Select one or more storage policies for the Provider VDC to support and click Add.
    Important: vCloud Director does not support VM storage policies for host-based data services such as encryption and storage I/O control.

    Click Next to save your changes and continue.

  6. Configure the VXLAN network pool for this Provider VDC.
    Every Provider VDC must have a VXLAN network pool. You can have the system create one for you with a default scope, or you can use a custom VXLAN pool based on a specific NSX transport zone.
    Option Description
    Use a VXLAN pool that the system created for you Select Create a default VXLAN Network Pool and click Next.
    Use a custom VXLAN pool is based on a specific NSX transport zone. Select Select VXLAN Network Pool from list. Choose a network pool from the list and click Next.
  7. Select the highest virtual hardware version you want the Provider VDC to support.
    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.

    Click Next to save your changes and continue.

  8. Review your choices and click Finish to create the Provider VDC.

What to do next

Consider creating additional resource pools and adding them to this Provider VDC. Adding one or more secondary resource pools enables the Provider VDC to provide specialized capabilities (such as Edge clusters, affinity groups, and hosts with special configurations) that might be required by some organizations. See Add a Resource Pool to a Provider VDC.