The VMware Cloud Builder appliance is a VM which also includes a service called the VMware Imaging Appliance service which can be utilised for installing the base ESXi operating system on your physical servers. After you image the servers, you use the Cloud Builder appliance to deploy and configure the management domain and transfer inventory and control to SDDC Manager. During the deployment process, the Cloud Builder appliance validates network information you provide in the deployment parameter workbook such as DNS, network (VLANS, IPs, MTUs), and credentials.

You must deploy the VMware Cloud Builder appliance on a suitable platform. This can be on a laptop under VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion, or on an ESXi host. The VMware Cloud Builder appliance must have network access to all hosts on the management network.

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

Prerequisites

The Cloud Builder appliance requires the following resources.
Component Requirement
CPU 4 vCPUs
Memory 4 GB
Storage 150 GB

To image servers and automate the deployment, the VMware Cloud Builder appliance 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.

Procedure

  1. Download the VMware Cloud Builder appliance 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 VMware Cloud Builder appliance OVA from your local file system and click Open.
  8. Click Next.
  9. On the Select Storage page, select the storage for the VMware Cloud Builder appliance.
  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 VMware Cloud Builder appliance:
    Setting Details
    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 VMware Cloud Builder appliance.
    Network 1 IP Address Enter the IP address for the VMware Cloud Builder appliance.
    Network 1 Subnet Mask For example, 255.255.255.0.
    Default Gateway Enter the default gateway for the VMware Cloud Builder appliance.
    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 VMware Cloud Builder appliance 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 VMware Cloud Builder appliance 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.