The Consolidated SDDC differentiates between the consolidated pod and storage pod.

Figure 1. Pods in the Consolidated Software-Defined Data Center

Consolidated Pod

The consolidated pod runs the following services:

  • Virtual machines to manage the SDDC such as vCenter Server, NSX manager, vRealize Automation, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Operations Manager and vSphere Data Protection.

  • Required NSX services to enable north-south routing between the SDDC and the external network, and east-west routing inside the SDDC.

  • Virtual machines running business applications supporting varying Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Storage Pod

Storage pods provide secondary storage using NFS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel. Different types of storage pods can provide different levels of SLA, ranging from just a bunch of disks (JBODs) with minimal to no redundancy, to fully redundant enterprise-class storage arrays. For bandwidth-intense IP-based storage, the bandwidth of these pods can scale dynamically.


The VMware Validated Design for a Consolidated SDDC uses VMware vSAN as its primary storage platform, and does not consider block or file storage technology for primary storage. These storage technologies are only referenced for specific use cases such as backups to secondary storage.