You can add new and existing ESXi hosts to the vCenter Server inventory.

You can also add hosts to a DRS cluster. For more information, see vSphere Resource Management.

When you add the first three hosts to the cluster, vSphere Cluster Services (vCLS) agent virtual machines are added by default to the cluster. A quorum of up to three vCLS agent virtual machines are required to run in a cluster, one agent virtual machine per host. For more information about vCLS, see vSphere Cluster Services.

Note: After you configure the cluster by using Quickstart, if you modify any cluster networking settings outside of Quickstart, you cannot use the Quickstart workflow to add and configure new hosts to the cluster.


  • Verify that hosts have the same ESXi version and patch level.
  • Obtain the user name and password of the root user account for the host.
  • Verify that hosts do not have a manual vSAN configuration or a manual networking configuration.
  • Verify that you have the proper privileges. Different sets of privileges apply when you add multiple hosts to a cluster and a single host to a cluster or a data center. For more information, see Required Privileges for Common Tasks in the vSphere Security documentation.
  • To add a host to a cluster that you manage with a single image, see the Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle documentation.


  1. In the vSphere Client, navigate to a cluster within a data center.
  2. On the Configure tab, select Configuration > Quickstart.
  3. Click Add in the Add hosts card.
  4. On the Add hosts page, add new or existing hosts to the cluster.
    • Add hosts that are not part of the vCenter Server inventory.
      1. Click the New hosts tab.
      2. Populate the IP Address and credentials text boxes for those hosts.
      3. (Optional) To add more new hosts, click the Add Host button.
      4. (Optional) To reuse the credentials for all added hosts, select the Use the same credentials for all hosts check box.
    • Add hosts that are managed by your vCenter Server instance and are in the same data center as your cluster.
      1. Click the Existing hosts tab.
      2. From the list, select the hosts that you want to add to the cluster.
  5. Click Next.
    The Host summary page lists all hosts that will be added to the cluster and related warnings.
    Note: If a host cannot be validated automatically by the system, you are prompted to manually validate its certificate and accept its thumbprint in the Security Alert pop-up.
  6. On the Host summary page, review the details of the added hosts and click Next.
  7. (Optional) On the Import Image page, select the host whose image to use as the image for the cluster.
    The Import Image page appears when you add hosts to a cluster managed with a single image. For information about adding a host to a cluster that you manage with a single image, see the Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle documentation.
  8. On the Ready to complete page, review the IP addresses or FQDN of the added hosts and click Finish.
    Review the number of added hosts and the health check validation, performed by the vSAN Health service, in the Add hosts card.
  9. (Optional) Click Re-validate to retrigger the validation of the hosts.
    Note: If an error occurs, it is visible in the Recent Tasks pane only.


All hosts are placed in maintenance mode and added to your cluster. You can manually exit the maintenance mode.

What to do next

Configure your cluster default settings through the Quickstart workflow.