The Hardware Management Services (HMS) manages the hardware in the Cloud Foundation system, such as hosts and network switches. It provides the necessary functions required for discovering, bootstrapping, and monitoring the hardware. HMS runs on the SDDC Manager Controller VM, where it can access all hosts and switches on the out-of-band network.

HMS works with both vendor-provided plug-ins and VMware plug-ins, and gives the SDDC Manager the capability to interact with the hardware. The HMS is only accessed through the SDDC Manager and is not visible to system administrators.