HCI Mesh is a software-based approach for disaggregation of compute and storage resources in vSAN. HCI Mesh brings together multiple independent vSAN clusters by enabling cross-cluster use of remote datastore capacity within vCenter Server. HCI Mesh enables you to efficiently use and consume data center resources, which provides simple storage management at scale.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4.2 and later supports sharing remote datastores with HCI Mesh for VI workload domains.

You can create HCI Mesh by mounting remote vSAN datastores on vSAN clusters and enable data sharing from the vCenter Server or the SDDC Manager. It can take up to 5 minutes for the mounted remote vSAN datastores to appear in the SDDC Manager UI.

Note: HCI Mesh does not support remote vSAN datastores on stretched clusters.

For more information on sharing remote datastores with HCI Mesh, see Sharing Remote Datastores with HCI Mesh.

Storage Type

Consolidated Workload Domain

Management Domain

VI Workload Domain









HCI Mesh Compute-only Clusters

VMware Cloud Foundation now supports HCI Mesh as a principal storage type with compute-only clusters. With this feature, the hosts in an HCI Mesh compute-only client cluster do not need local storage. They can mount remote datastores from a vSAN cluster located within the same data center.

VMware Cloud Foundation can only support the use of cross-cluster HCI Mesh within a single Workload Domain. You cannot create a cluster in Workload Domain 1 and share or remotely connect to a vSAN datastore that exists in a cluster in Workload Domain 2.

Also, this feature only supports VMware Cloud Foundation-created clusters. For example, vSphere clusters created outside of VMware Cloud Foundation cannot be used to provide storage or remotely connect to an existing VMware Cloud Foundation-created cluster that is providing storage through HCI mesh.