VMware Cloud Provider VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware Cloud Foundation Optimized Consolidated Architecture for Cloud Providers

Technical Guidance for VMware Cloud Providers

In the spirit of the kick-off and product announcements this year, we want to reveal that VMware Cloud Foundation with a minimum of 3 hosts is ready to roll based on technical guidance with special engineering approval for production deployment.

Cloud providers can now easily acquire small to medium-sized customers to run their production workloads with VCF optimized consolidated architecture.

The solution was successfully validated to deploy the core SDDC stack with successful execution of key upgrade scenarios by listing following key design considerations. 

Software – Bill of Materials

ProductVersionRelease dateBuild#
Cloud Builder VM4.3.1 or latest21 Sept 202118624509
SDDC Manager4.3.1 or latest21 Sept 202118624509
VMware vCenter Server Appliance7.0 Update 2d or latest21 Sept 202118455184
VMware ESXi7.0 Update 2c or latest24 Aug 202118426014
VMware NSX-T DC3.1.3.1 or latest26 Aug 202118504668

Following are key design considerations for your reference.  


  • Adequate compute, and storage capacity is required to perform lifecycle automation tasks, especially for vSphere and NSX transport node upgrade, as described in the product documentation.
  • To avoid any downtime to the business applications, workloads, or management appliances, the provider must add a minimum of one swing host to the VCF environment for the duration of the vSphere cluster or NSX upgrade.
  • The swing host(s) must have equal resource capacity and configuration as the upgraded cluster.
  • The temporarily added capacity will ensure to complete the upgrade(s) of the infrastructure components while using VMware Cloud Foundation LCM successfully.
  • To optimize the upgrade time, no need to perform upgrade steps on swing host(s), as described in the product documentation.


It is strongly recommended to ensure that provider must performs periodic backup of customer workloads and VCF management domain components (image of file-level backups) to avoid any data loss or extended downtime for customers’ workloads, especially before upgrade process.


The infrastructure capacity for customer workloads may vary as per server hardware configuration.


The testing scope was unable to perform any of the additional VMware products as listed below. However, if there is a need then provider must ensure that cluster has adequate infrastructure capacity to deploy such additional VMware or third-party product(s) or solutions.

For example:   

  • VMware Cloud Director
  • vRealize Orchestrator
  • VMware vRealize Automation
  • VMware vRealize Operations
  • VMware vRealize Log Insight
  • VMware vRealize Network Insight 
  • VMware Tanzu Product(s)
  • VMware NSX Advance services (NSX Edge clusters)
  • VMware Application Virtualized Network (AVN)
  • VMware vSAN stretched cluster(s)

We continue further testing to relax the possible restrictions mentioned above, which will allow providers to deploy some of the additional VMware products. We are looking at productizing it soon for Cloud providers.

Support Requirement

This configuration requires special engineering approval.  Once approved, the providers will be delivered the design document, which will provide detailed steps to perform the SDDC stack bring up process and upgrade process.

Please reach out to your account team to seek approval and gain an official support statement and access to the official design guide for production workloads.  

Additional Material

Feature Fridays Episode 94


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