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by Tom Stephens, Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

I recently saw a question asking if vCloud Director was supported with vCenter Foundation.  This version is intended for use in small environments, and is limited to being able to manage three vSphere hosts.

It’s a good question, as I’m sure there’s a group of people out there who would like to take advantage of building a self-provisioning cloud environment with a small number of hosts.  Additionally, finding the right information can be challenging at times, especially if you’re new to using vCloud Director.

First, let’s talk about how one can go about finding the answer themselves.  Every product at VMware has a web page dedicated to it.   This should be the first place you go to if your looking for the requirements of any VMware product.  On this page, about half way down, you’ll see a series of tabs.  Depending on the product, you may see a different series of tabs.  What your looking for is one called ‘How to Buy’.

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Under here, you’ll see there are links to the technical requirements.  

In some cases, this might not show you all the requirement information you need.  Additionally, depending on the product your looking for, you might not have the ‘How to Buy’ tab.  In these cases, the second place you should look is in the Installation and Configuration guide.

With vCloud Director, this is pretty easy to find, as there is a ‘Documentation and Training’ tab right next to the ‘How to Buy’ tab that provides you with links to all the product documentation.  For other products, you may not have this tab.  Instead, you might see a tab entitled ‘Resources’. 

Now that you know where to go, let’s talk about the answer to the question.  If you went to the product page, you will see the following statement:

“VMware vCloud Director requires VMware vSphere Enterprise licenses and at least one instance of vCenter Server Standard. However, we strongly recommend VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus for advanced networking functionality through the vNetwork Distributed Switch. Learn more about VMware vCenter Server Standard licensing and VMware vSphere licensing.”

Now if you went to the Installation and Configuration Guide for vCloud Director 1.5, you would have seen the following blurb on page 10 under the heading vSphere Licensing Requirements:

“vCloud Director requires the following vSphere licenses:

-   VMware DRS, licensed by vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.

-   VMware Distributed Switch and dvFilter, licensed by vSphere Enterprise Plus. This license enables creation and use of vCloud Director isolated networks.”

With this, we now have the answer to the original question as well as an explanation of why. 

vCloud Director is not supported with vCenter Foundation.  You’ll need at least vCenter Server Standard.  Additionally, you will need to get at least Enterprise to enable DRS, which is a requirement of vCloud Director.  To get the full functionality though, you’ll need to get Enterprise Plus.  This gives you all the benefits of Enterprise (re: DRS), plus the ability to use a vDS and dvFilter so that you can configure VCNI networks. 

All this might seem easy after you’ve been working with vCloud Director for a while.  For those who haven’t, hopefully this shows you how to go about finding the information you need.