You can use the VMware Imaging Appliance service (VIA) included with the VMware Cloud Builder appliance to image servers for use in the management domain and VI workload domains. Alternatively, you can install ESXi manually. For the supported ESXi version, see the BOM section of the VMware Cloud Foundation Release Notes.

You can use VIA to image servers prior to adding them to VMware Cloud Foundation as part of the host commissioning process. For information about imaging servers prior to bring-up, see the VMware Cloud Foundation Deployment Guide.

You must have access to the VMware Cloud Builder appliance to use the VMware Imaging Appliance service. If you deleted the Cloud Builder appliance after bring-up, you can redeploy it as described in "Deploy Cloud Foundation Builder Appliance" in the VMware Cloud Foundation Deployment Guide.

Server Prerequisites

The servers that you image must meet certain prerequisites:
  • PXE Boot is configured as primary boot option
  • Install device is configured as the second boot option
  • Legacy boot mode configured in BIOS
    Note: Although the VMware Imaging Appliance service does not support UEFI boot mode, VMware Cloud Foundation does support it for servers configured outside of VIA.
  • Servers are in the same L2 domain as the VMware Cloud Builder appliance
  • Servers are reachable over an untagged VLAN/Network (VLAN ID 0)
  • The VMware Cloud Builder appliance is deployed on an untagged VLAN/Network
  • Server hardware/firmware should be configured for virtualization and vSAN and match the VMware Cloud Foundation BOM as described in the Release Notes
  • Physical hardware health status should be "healthy" without any errors
  • Any onboard NICs are disabled on the servers and only the two 10 GbE NICs reserved for use with VMware Cloud Foundation are enabled in BIOS

The default root credentials for servers imaged with VIA are user root, password EvoSddc!2016.