VMware recommends that you use a white cabinet that is 19" wide with 42 Rack Units (RU) for the physical rack. The cabinet must have a loading capacity of 2000 lbs and have adjustable levelling feet with heavy duty casters and seismic bracing. Since switches do not cover the full shelves, the cabinet must have a grill on one side for proper airflow.

Table 1. Rack Components


Rack 1

Additional Racks




Console serial switch



Spine switches


2 (Rack 2 only)

TOR Switches



Management switch




Up to 32

Up to 32

  • PDUs

    Each physical rack must have 4 PDUs (2 primary and 2 standby) even if it contains less than 32 servers. It is recommended that the primary PDUs be blue and the standby be red. The primary PDUs must be placed on the rear left side and the standby PDUs must be placed on the rear right side of the cabinet. The capacity requirements for each PDU are:

    • 208 V

    • 30 AMP

    • 3 phase

    • 60 Hz/50 H

    The plug type needs to be determined based on the customer's environment.

  • Console serial switch

    Each physical rack contains a 16-port console serial switch. The console serial switch is connected to all the other switches in the rack and is used for troubleshooting.

  • Spine switches

    Rack 2 in your Cloud Foundation system contains two 32 x 40 GE spine switches. These switches connect multiple racks by using uplinks from the Top of Rack switches.

    Spine switches must not be connected to a corporate network. They are only used for ToR connectivity between physical racks.

  • Top of Rack (ToR) switches

    Each rack contains two 1RU 48-port 10 GE ToR switches with four 40 GE uplinks. Servers in each rack are connected to both ToRs. The ToRs on rack 1 connect Cloud Foundation to the corporate network.

  • Management switch

    Each rack contains a 1 GE management switch, which is used for IPMI access and access to the physical switches. The management ports of the ToR switches, Spine switches (on Rack 2 only) , and the physical servers are connected to the management switch. The data ports of the ToR switches are also connected to the management switch. This enables the management switch to monitor the data from the servers from both the management network as well as the data network.

    The management switch provides out-of-band (OOB) connectivity for managing switches and servers. The hardware management service (HMS) runs on the management switch.

  • Servers

    A rack can contain up to 32 two-socket 1U or 16 two-socket 2U servers that are vSAN certified.

    All servers within a rack must be of the same model and type. It is recommended that the server disk size and storage configuration be identical. Memory between servers can vary. CPU must be two-socket but the cores can vary.

    Figure 1. Example Physical Rack Configuration
    single rack