Cloud Foundation introduces a new abstraction, workload domains, for creating logical pools across compute, storage, and networking. A workload domain consists of one or more vSphere clusters, provisioned automatically by SDDC Manager.

There are two types of workload domains - the management domain and VI workload domains.

The management domain is created during the bring-up process. It contains the Cloud Foundation management components. This includes an instance of vCenter Server and required NSX for vSphere components (NSX Manager and three NSX Controller VMs) for the management domain. All vRealize Suite components, such as vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Automation, and vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager, are installed in the management domain. The management domain uses vSAN storage.

Cloud Foundation implements Virtual Infrastructure (VI) workload domains for user workloads. You can choose the storage option (vSAN, NFS, or VMFS on FC) and NSX Platform (NSX for vSphere or NSX-T) for each VI workload domain. The workload domain can consist of one or more vSphere clusters. Each cluster starts with a minimum of three hosts and can scale up to the vSphere maximum of 64 hosts. SDDC Manager automates creation of the workload domain and the underlying vSphere cluster(s).

For each NSX for vSphere VI workload domain, SDDC Manager deploys an additional NSX Manager instance in the management domain to manage that VI workload domain. The three NSX Controller VMs are deployed in the VI workload domain cluster. These controller VMs communicate with the dedicated NSX Manager deployed in the management domain.

For the first NSX-T VI workload domain in your environment, SDDC Manager deploys a vCenter Server and NSX Manager cluster in the management domain. An additional vCenter Server is deployed for each subsequent NSX-T VI workload domain, but it shares the same NSX Manager cluster.