The SDDC differentiates between different types of pods including management pod, compute pod, edge pod, shared edge and compute pod, and storage pod. Each design includes several pods.

Figure 1. Pods in the SDDC

A management pod (4 ESXi hosts) and an Edge and Compute pod (4 ESXi hosts) are in one rack with two ToR switches. One ToR switch has an external connection.

Management Pod

The management pod runs the virtual machines that manage the SDDC. These virtual machines host vCenter Server, vSphere Update Manager, NSX Manager, NSX Controller, vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Automation, vRealize Log Insight, and other management components. Because the management pod hosts critical infrastructure, consider implementing a basic level of hardware redundancy for this pod.

Management pod components must not have tenant-specific addressing. 

Shared Edge and Compute Pod

The shared edge and compute pod runs the required NSX services to enable north-south routing between the SDDC and the external network, and east-west routing inside the SDDC. This shared pod also hosts the SDDC tenant virtual machines (sometimes referred to as workloads or payloads). As the SDDC grows, additional compute-only pods can be added to support a mix of different types of workloads for different types of Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Compute Pod

Compute pods host the SDDC tenant virtual machines (sometimes referred to as workloads or payloads). An SDDC can mix different types of compute pods and provide separate compute pools for different types of SLAs. 

Storage Pod

Storage pods provide network-accessible storage using NFS or iSCSI. Different types of storage pods can provide different levels of SLA, ranging from just a bunch of disks (JBODs) using IDE drives 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.