Tenant workloads run on the ESXi hosts in the shared edge and compute cluster. Due to the shared nature of the cluster, NSX Controllers and Edge devices run in this cluster. The design decisions determine the number of hosts and vSphere HA settings and several other characteristics of the shared edge and compute cluster.

Table 1. Shared Edge and Compute Cluster Design Decisions

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication


Create a shared edge and compute cluster for the NSX Controllers and NSX Edge gateway devices.

NSX Manager requires a 1:1 relationship with a vCenter Server system.

Each time you provision a Compute vCenter Server system, a new NSX Manager is required.

Set anti-affinity rules to keep each Controller on a separate host. A 4-node cluster allows maintenance while ensuring that the 3 Controllers remain on separate hosts.


Configure Admission Control for 1 host failure and percentage based failover capacity.

vSphere HA protects the NSX Controller instances and edge services gateway devices in the event of a host failure. vSphere HA powers on virtual machines from the failed hosts on any remaining hosts.

Only a single host failure is tolerated before potential resource contention.


Create shared edge and compute cluster with a minimum of 4 hosts.

  • 3 NSX Controllers are required for sufficient redundancy and majority decisions.

  • One host is available for failover and to allow for scheduled maintenance.

4 hosts is the smallest starting point for the shared edge and compute cluster for redundancy and performance thus increasing cost over a 3 node cluster.


Set up VLAN-backed port groups for external access and management on the shared edge and compute cluster hosts.

Edge gateways need access to the external network in addition to the management network.

VLAN-backed port groups must be configured with the correct number of ports, or with elastic port allocation.


Create a resource pool for the required SDDC NSX Controllers and edge appliances with a CPU share level of High, a memory share of normal, and 16 GB memory reservation.

The NSX components control all network traffic in and out of the SDDC as well as update route information for inter-SDDC communication. In a contention situation it is imperative that these virtual machines receive all the resources required.

During contention SDDC NSX components receive more resources then all other workloads as such monitoring and capacity management must be a proactive activity.

The following table summarizes the attributes of the shared edge and compute cluster logical design. The number of VMs on the shared edge and compute cluster will start low but will grow quickly as user workloads are created.

Table 2. Shared Edge and Compute Cluster Logical Design Background



Minimum number of hosts required to support the shared edge and compute cluster


Capacity for host failures per cluster


Number of usable hosts per cluster