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 to access the physical switches. The management switch is connected to the management ports of the ToR and inter-rack switches (on Rack 2 only). The management switch is also connected to the data ports of the ToR switches. VIA uses the management port connection to the ToR switch for imaging and configuration of the management switch, and the data port connection for imaging and configuration of the other switches and servers.

  • Servers

    A Cloud Foundation rack can contain 4 to 32 heterogeneous servers. Servers must be from the same vendor, but can be of different models and sizes with variable CPU, memory, storage size and type, and disk configurations (e.g. hybrid or all flash).

    You can select the servers you want to use for the management domain as well as workload domains. This gives you the flexibility to use say hybrid servers for the management domain and all flash servers for workload domains.

    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.

    Each server to be used in the domain must contain at least 3 capacity tier disks.


    Cloud Foundation only supports vSAN RAID controllers in pass-through mode.

    8 disks per disk-group and 2 disk-groups per host. 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 VI and VDI workload creation.

    32 1U servers or 16 2U servers




    Figure 1. Example Physical Rack Configuration
    single rack