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

Note: This procedure applies to creating a Provider VDC backed by NSX Data Center for vSphere. For information about creating a Provider VDC backed by NSX-T Data Center, see vCloud API Programming Guide for Service Providers.

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 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, 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, 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 instance that backs the Provider VDC. See Configure Storage I/O Control Support in a Provider VDC 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.


  • Verify that you created the target primary resource pool with available capacity in a cluster configured to use automated DRS. One resource pool can be used only by 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 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.

  • Verify that the vCenter Server instance that contains the target primary resource pool is attached and has a 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.

  • Log in to the vCloud Director Web Console as a system administrator.


  1. On the Manage & Monitor tab, in the left pane, click Provider VDCs .
  2. Click New Provider VDC.
  3. 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.
  4. (Optional) To disable the Provider VDC upon creation, deselect Enabled.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Select a vCenter Server instance and a resource pool to serve as the primary resource pool for this Provider VDC, and click Next.
    This page lists vCenter Server instances registered to vCloud Director. Clicking a vCenter Server instance shows its available resource pools.
  7. Select one or more storage policies for the Provider VDC, click Add, and click Next.
    All vSphere storage policies supported by the resource pool you selected are listed.
    Important: vCloud Director does not support VM storage policies for host-based data services such as encryption and storage I/O control.
  8. 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
    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.
  9. 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.
    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 Web 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.
  10. 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 VDC.