To implement an SDDC with VMware Cloud Foundation, your hardware must meet certain minimum requirements.

This topic provides general guidance on the minimum requirements for a management domain and a virtual infrastructure workload domain in a Cloud Foundation system. For more details about sizing a Cloud Foundation system for your environment, see Capacity Planning for Management and Workload Domains.

Management Domain

The management domain contains infrastructure workloads. The management domain requires a minimum of four servers. The management domain can be expanded in order to provide more resources for additional workloads or increased availability.

In the standard architecture deployment model, the infrastructure workloads contained within the management domain are kept isolated from tenant workloads through the creation of additional workload domains. In the consolidated architecture model, both infrastructure and tenant workloads are contained within the management domain. Workloads are kept separated in this model through the implementation of resource pools. Regardless of the deployment model used, ensure the servers provide ample resources to support the deployed workloads. This includes being able to support availability and maintenance actions where the workloads on a server need to be transferred to the other servers in the workload domain.

Cloud Foundation supports the use of vSAN ReadyNodes that are certified with supported versions of ESXi in the management domain. Refer to https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/52084 for guidance on what components can be modified in a vSAN ReadyNode. See the VMware Cloud Foundation Release Notes for information about supported versions of ESXi.

The management domain contains a management cluster which must meet or exceed the following minimum hardware requirements.

Table 1. Minimum Hardware Requirements for the Management Cluster

Component

Requirements

Servers

  • Four vSAN ReadyNodes

For information on compatible vSAN ReadyNodes, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

CPU per server

  • Dual-socket, 8 cores per socket minimum requirement for all-flash systems

  • Single-socket, 8 cores per socket minimum requirement for hybrid (flash and magnetic) systems

Note:

Cloud Foundation also supports quad-socket servers for use with all-flash or hybrid systems.

Memory per server

  • 192 GB

Storage per server

See Designing and Sizing a vSAN Cluster for guidelines about cache sizing.

NICs per server

  • Two 10 GbE (or higher) NICs (IOVP Certified)

  • (Optional) One 1 GbE BMC NIC

Note:

Servers cannot have more than two NICs for primary communication, plus one BMC NIC for out-of-band host management.

Virtual Infrastructure Workload Domains

A virtual infrastructure (VI) workload domain is used in the standard architecture deployment model to contain the tenant workloads. A VI workload domain consists of a minimum of one cluster consisting of three or more servers. Additional clusters can be added to a VI workload domain as required. A Cloud Foundation solution can include a maximum of 15 workload domains, in accordance with vCenter maximums.

Workloads in each cluster utilize vSphere High Availability (HA) to coordinate the failover to other servers in the event of a failure. To provide for the best levels of availability, all servers in a given cluster must be of the same model and type. A cluster does not need to have servers of the same model and type as other clusters. For example, let's consider a VI workload domain that has two clusters. All servers in Cluster 1 must be homogeneous; all servers within Cluster 2 must be homogeneous; servers in Cluster 1 do not need to have the same model and type as servers in Cluster 2.

Cloud Foundation supports the use of most vSAN ReadyNodes for vSAN backed VI workload domains. Refer to https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/52084 for guidance on what components can be modified in a vSAN ReadyNode. For NFS backed workload domains, you can use vSAN ReadyNodes or servers compatible with the vSphere version included with the Cloud Foundation Bill of Materials (BOM).

The servers used for a VI workload domain must meet or exceed the following minimum requirements.

Table 2. Minimum Hardware Requirements for a VI Workload Domain

Component

Requirements

Servers

  • For vSAN backed VI workload domains, three compatible vSAN ReadyNodes are required

    For information about compatible vSAN ReadyNodes, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

  • For NFS backed VI workload domains, three compatible vSAN ReadyNodes or three servers compatible with the vSphere version included with the Cloud Foundation BOM are required. For information about the BOM, see the Cloud Foundation Release Notes.

Servers within a cluster must be of the same model and type.

CPU, memory, and storage per server

  • For vSAN backed VI workload domains, supported vSAN configurations are required

  • For NFS backed VI workload domains, configurations need to be compatible with vSAN or with the vSphere version included with the Cloud Foundation BOM. For information about the BOM, see the Cloud Foundation Release Notes.

NICs per server

  • Two 10 GbE (or higher) NICs (IOVP Certified)

  • (Optional) One 1 GbE BMC NIC

Note:

Servers can have a maximum of two NICs for primary communication, plus one BMC NIC for out-of-band host management.

Storage Options

VMware Cloud Foundation utilizes and is validated against vSAN and NFSv3. The management domain uses vSAN for storage. You can use vSAN or NFSv3 for VI workload domains. The type of storage used by a VI workload domain is defined when the VI workload domain is created. Once the VI workload domain is created and the storage type has been selected, this cannot be changed to another storage type. The storage type selected during the VI workload domain creation applies to all clusters that are created within the VI workload domain.

Note that a network pool needs to be configured for the desired storage type before the VI workload domain is created.

If using vSAN storage, familiarize yourself with the vSAN documentation on docs.vmware.com, if you have not done so already. With any vSAN deployment, it is imperative that you maintain the firmware and drivers across the entire storage path, including the storage controller, any SSD drives, and ESXi. Use the vSAN HCL, https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vsan, to validate driver and firmware versions for associated components. Ensure the hardware is updated to supported levels before starting the deployment.

Networking Platform Options

The management domain includes NSX for vSphere. For VI workload domains, you can choose either NSX for vSphere or NSX-T.