Adding hosts to the VMware Cloud Foundation inventory is called commissioning. You can add hosts individually or use a JSON template to add multiple hosts at once.

The hosts that you want to commission must meet a set of criteria. After you specify host details and select the network pool to associate a host with, VMware Cloud Foundation validates and commissions each host. Each host is added to the free pool and is available for the workload domain creation.
  • Hosts that use vSAN storage can only be used with vSAN-based workload domains.
  • Hosts that use NFS storage can only be used with NFS-based workload domains.
  • Hosts that use VMFS on FC storage can only be used with VMFS on FC-based workload domains.
  • Hosts that use vVols storage can only be used with vVols-based workload domains.
Note: The management domain can only include hosts that use the vSAN storage.

See VMware Configuration Maximums for information about the maximum number of hosts you can commission at one time.

Ensure that a network pool supports the storage type you select for a host (vSAN, NFS, VMFS on FC, vVols).
  • For vSAN and NFS, you can include both vSAN and NFS network information in the same network pool or create separate network pools for vSAN and NFS.
  • For VMFS on FC storage, select vMotion only or vMotion and NFS.
  • For vVols on FC storage, select vMotion only or vMotion and NFS.
  • For vVols on iSCSI storage, select vMotion and iSCSI.
  • For vVols on NFS storage, select vMotion and NFS.

If you used hosts with certificates generated by an external CA for bring-up, hosts used for expanding workload domains (management or VI) or for creating VI workload domains must also use certificates generated by an external CA. See Configure ESXi Hosts with Signed Certificates.

Prerequisites

Ensure that each host you are commissioning meets the following criteria:
  • Hosts for vSAN-based workload domains are vSAN-compliant and certified on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide.
  • Hosts for NFS-based workload domains are certified on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide.
  • Hosts for VMFS on FC-based workload domains are certified on the VMware Compatibility Guide. In addition, the hosts must have supported FC cards (Host Bus Adapters) and drivers installed and configured. For compatible FC cards, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.
  • Hosts for vVols-based workload domains are certified on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide.
    • For vVols on FC-based workload domains, ensure that all ESXi hosts have access to the FC array before launching the workflow.
    • For vVols on NFS-based workload domains, ensure that all ESXi hosts must be able to reach the NFS server from the NFS network assigned in the IP pool.

    • For vVols on iSCSI-based workload domains, ensure that the iSCSI software initiator must be enabled on each ESXi host and the VASA provider URL must be listed as the dynamic target.

  • Two NIC ports with a minimum 10 Gbps speed. One port must be free, and the other port must be configured on a standard switch. This switch must be restricted to the management port group.

    You can commission hosts with more than two NICs using the VMware Cloud Foundation API.

  • Host has the drivers and firmware versions specified in the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide.
  • A supported version of ESXi is installed on the host. See the VMware Cloud Foundation Release Notes for information about supported versions.
  • SSH and syslog are enabled.
  • DNS is configured for forward and reverse lookup and FQDN.
  • Host name must be same as the FQDN.
  • Management IP address is configured on the first NIC port.
  • Host has a standard switch and configured with 10 GB speed default uplinks starting with vmnic0 and increasing sequentially.
  • Hardware health status is healthy without any errors.
  • All disk partitions on HDD and SSD are deleted.
  • Network pool must be created and available before host commissioning.
  • Hosts for the vSAN-based workload domain must be associated with the vSAN enabled network pool.
  • Hosts for the NFS-based workload domain are associated with the NFS enabled network pool.
  • Host is configured with an appropriate gateway. The gateway must be part of the management subnet.

Procedure

  1. On the SDDC Manager Dashboard, click Inventory > Hosts.
  2. Click Commission Hosts.
  3. Confirm that hosts to be commissioned meet each criterion in the checklist and select the check boxes.
  4. Click Proceed.
  5. Select whether you want to add hosts one at a time or import a JSON file to add multiple hosts at once.
    Option Description
    Add new Manually enter the following information for the host you want to add:
    • FQDN

      The FQDN must match the host name (including capitalization) provided during DNS configuration.

    • Storage type (vSAN, NFS, VMFS on FC, or vVol)
      Note: vVols storage protocol type (FC, iSCSI, or NFS) appears only when you select vVols as the storage type
    • Network pool (select an existing network pool from the list)
    • User name and password (root credentials)
    Manually commission a host.

    Click Add.

    You can now add more hosts or proceed to the next step.
    Import
    1. To download the JSON template, click the link.
    2. Open the JSON template file and enter information about the hosts to add.
      • FQDN
      • User name and password (root credentials)
      • Storage type (vSAN, NFS, FC, or VVol)
      • Network pool name
        Note: vVols storage protocol type (FC, iSCSI, or NFS) appears only when you select vVols as the storage type
        Sample JSON file
    3. To locate and select the JSON file containing host information, click Browse.
    4. Click Upload.
    The host or hosts appear in the Hosts Added section.
  6. Verify that the server fingerprint is correct for each host and then click the confirm fingerprint icon Confirm fingerprint icon.
  7. Click Validate All.
    VMware Cloud Foundation validates the host information you provided. Each host is marked as Valid or Invalid.

    For invalid hosts, you can correct the problem and validate again, or select the host and click Remove to proceed with commissioning the valid hosts.

  8. Click Next to review the host information and then click Commission to begin commissioning.
    The Hosts page appears, and the status of the commission task is displayed. To display the task bar, click View Status in Task.

Results

The commissioned hosts are added to the host table. The host belongs to a free pool until you assign it to a workload domain.