In order to deploy Cloud Foundation, you first need to deploy the Cloud Builder VM.

The Cloud Builder VM takes your configuration inputs and provides the automated workflows that instantiate the management domain. The host for the Cloud Builder VM can be any supported system capable of running Cloud Foundation Builder. A dedicated ESXi host, workstation, or a laptop running VMware Fusion or Workstation are examples of supported systems. You can download the Cloud Builder VM through your MyVMware account.

The Cloud Builder VM requires the following resources.

Table 1. Cloud Builder VM Resource Requirements
Component Requirement
Memory 4 GB
Storage 350 GB

The Cloud Builder VM requires network connectivity to the ESXi management network, so that it can communicate to all ESXi hosts added to the solution. The Cloud Builder VM also needs to be able to communicate to the DNS and NTP servers used in the VMware Cloud Foundation environment so that it can validate the deployment inputs provided. The DNS and NTP settings used when deploying the Cloud Builder VM must be the same as the settings configured on the hosts.

VMware Imaging Appliance

The Cloud Builder VM includes the VMware Imaging Appliance (VIA). You can use VIA to install ESXi and VIBs on servers for use in the management domain and VI workload domains. Using VIA is optional, and if your servers are already installed with a supported version of ESXi, you do not need to use VIA.

You can use VIA to image servers prior to bring-up of a Cloud Foundation system and to image additional servers post-bring-up.