The Cloud Foundation Builder VM is a VM which includes the VMware Imaging Appliance for installing ESXi on your servers. After you image the servers, use the Cloud Builder VM to deploy and configure the management domain and transfer inventory and control to SDDC Manager. During the deployment process, the Cloud Foundation Builder VM validates network information you provide in the deployment parameter spreadsheet such as DNS, network (VLANS, IPs, MTUs), and credentials.

You must deploy the Cloud Builder VM on a suitable platform. This can be on a laptop under VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion, or on an ESXi host. The Cloud Builder VM must have network access to all hosts on the management network. Approximately 11 to 350 gigabytes of storage is required to deploy the Cloud Builder VM.

The procedure here describes deploying the Cloud Builder VM on an ESXi host. Other deployment methods have different procedures.


To image servers and automate the deployment, the Cloud Builder VM must be on the same management network as the hosts to be used. It must also be able to access all required external services, such as DNS and NTP.


  1. Download the Cloud Builder VM OVA on the Windows machine.
  2. Log in to the vSphere Host Client.
  3. In the navigator, select Host.
  4. Click Create/Register VM.
  5. On the Select creation type dialog box, select Deploy a virtual machine from an OVF or OVA file and click Next.
  6. Enter a name for the VM.
  7. Select Click to select files or drag/drop. Select the Cloud Builder VM OVA from your local file system and click Open.
  8. Click Next.
  9. On the Select Storage page, select the storage for the Cloud Builder VM.
  10. On the License agreements dialog box, click I agree and then click Next.
  11. On the Select networks dialog box, select the port group associated with the VLAN ID used by the ESXi hosts where Cloud Foundation will be deployed and then click Next.
  12. On the Additional settings dialog box, expand Application and enter the following information for the Cloud Builder VM:
    Setting Details
    Deployment Architecture Do not change the default (vcf) value.
    Admin Username The admin user name cannot be one of the following pre-defined user names:
    • root
    • bin
    • daemon
    • messagebus
    • systemd-bus-proxy
    • systemd-journal-gateway
    • systemd-journal-remote
    • systemd-journal-upload
    • systemd-network
    • systemd-resolve
    • systemd-timesync
    • nobody
    • sshd
    • named
    • rpc
    • tftp
    • ntp
    • smmsp
    • cassandra
    Admin Password/Admin Password confirm The admin password must be a minimum of 8 characters and include at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one digit, and one special character.
    Root password/Root password confirm The root password must be a minimum of 8 characters and include at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one digit, and one special character.
    Hostname Enter the hostname for the Cloud Builder VM.
    Network 1 IP Address Enter the IP address for the Cloud Builder VM.
    Network 1 Subnet Mask For example,
    Default Gateway Enter the default gateway for the Cloud Builder VM.
    DNS Servers IP address of the primary and secondary DNS servers (comma separated). Do not specify more than two servers.
    DNS Domain Name For example, vsphere.local.
    DNS Domain Search Paths Comma separated. For example vsphere.local, sf.vsphere.local.
    NTP Servers Comma separated.
  13. Review the deployment details and click Finish.
    Note: Make sure your passwords meet the requirements specified above before clicking Finish or your deployment will not succeed.
  14. After the Cloud Builder VM is deployed, SSH in to the VM with the admin credentials provided in step 12.
  15. Ensure that you can ping the ESXi hosts.
  16. Verify that the Cloud Builder VM has access to the required external services, such as DNS and NTP by performing forward and reverse DNS lookups for each host and the specified NTP servers.