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



Inter-rack 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.

  • Inter-rack switches

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

    Inter-rack 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, inter-rack 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.

  • Servers

    For information on supported hardware, see VMware Compatibility Guide.

    Table 2. Server Configuration for Cloud Foundation




    CPU per server

    Dual-socket, 8 cores per socket

    Dual-socket, no maximum on cores per socket

    Memory per server

    256 GB

    1.5 TB

    Storage per server

    4 TB for capacity tier. Follow vSAN guidelines for cache tier sizing as described in VMware vSAN Design and Sizing Guide.

    For high performance workload domains, each server to be used in the domain must contain at least 3 capacity tier disks.

    8 disks per controller. Follow vSAN guidelines for cache tier sizing as described in VMware vSAN Design and Sizing Guide.

    NICs per server

    Two 10 GbE NICs and one 1 GbE BMC NIC

    Two 10 GbE NICs and one 1 GbE BMC NIC

    Servers per rack

    Four 1U or 2U servers

    A minimum of 7 servers are required for workload creation.

    32 1U servers or 16 2U servers




    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