A cluster is a group of hosts. When a host is added to a cluster, the resources of the host become part of the resources of the cluster. The cluster manages the resources of all hosts that it contains.

Starting with vSphere 6.7, you can create and configure a cluster that is hyper-converged. The hyper-converged infrastructure collapses compute, storage, and networking on a single software layer that runs on industry standard x86 servers.

You can create and configure a cluster by using the simplified Quickstart workflow in the vSphere Client. On the Cluster quickstart page, there are three cards for configuring your new cluster.
Table 1. The cards initiating wizards for renaming and configuring a new cluster
Cluster Quickstart Workflow Description
1. Cluster basics You can edit the cluster name and enable or disable cluster services. The card lists the services you enabled.
2. Add hosts You can add new ESXi hosts. After the hosts are added, the card shows the total number of hosts present in the cluster and displays health check validation for those hosts.
3.Configure cluster You can configure network settings for vMotion traffic, review and customize cluster services. After the cluster is configured, the card provides details on configuration mismatch and reports cluster health results through the vSAN Health service.

The Skip Quickstart button prompts you to continue configuring the cluster and its hosts manually. To confirm exiting the simplified configuration workflow, click Continue. After you dismiss the Cluster quickstart workflow, you cannot restore it for the current cluster.

If you plan to enable vSphere High Availability (HA), vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and the VMware vSAN features, you must create clusters.

Starting with vSphere 7.0, you can create a cluster that you manage with a single image. By using vSphere Lifecycle Manager images, you can easily update and upgrade the software and firmware on the hosts in the cluster. Starting with vSphere 7.0 Update 2, during cluster creation, you can select a reference host and use the image on that host as the image for the newly created cluster. For more information about using images to manage ESXi hosts and clusters, see the Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle documentation.

Starting with vSphere 7.0 Update 1, vSphere Cluster Services (vCLS) is enabled by default and runs in all vSphere clusters. vCLS ensures that if vCenter Server becomes unavailable, cluster services remain available to maintain the resources and health of the workloads that run in the clusters. For more information about vCLS, see vSphere Cluster Services (vCLS).