The ROBO SDDC includes a consolidated cluster and secondary storage. This design also uses the management cluster in the hub.
Figure 1. Clusters in the ROBO Software-Defined Data Center

A consolidated cluster (4 ESXi hosts) and a secondary storage cluster are in one rack with two ToR switches.

Management Cluster

The management cluster is in the management workload domain in the hub and runs the virtual machines that manage the SDDC. See Hubs and Remote Office and Branch Office Sites.

You deploy the management cluster according to VMware Validated Design for Software-Defined Data Center. The management cluster is a pre-requisite for creating consolidated clusters in the ROBO sites. See Before You Implement a ROBO SDDC.

Consolidated Cluster

The consolidated cluster runs the following services:

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

  • 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 tenant applications according to certain Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Secondary Storage

Secondary storage provides additional storage for backup. It can be based on the NFS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel technology. Different types of storage 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.


This design uses VMware vSAN as its primary storage platform. Considering block or file storage technology for primary storage is out of scope of the design. These storage technologies are referenced only for specific use cases such as backups to secondary storage.