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VMware Cloud Foundation Optimized Consolidated Architecture for Cloud Providers

Updated: Jun 13, 2022

We all know by now the minimum requirement to build a VCF(VMware Cloud Foundation) Cluster is minimum of 4 hosts . Lots of people has question why cant we build a VCF Cluster with 3 node , at least for lab or for small or medium scale business . Well the only answer we could have told them is its the VCF design limitation and The management domain leverages vSAN for storage and requires a minimum of 4 nodes. This VMware reveals that VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) with a minimum of 3 host is ready to roll based on technical guidance with special engineering approval for production deployment. This is now possible VMware Called this solution as VCF optimized consolidated Architecture.


What is VCF optimized consolidated Architecture ?


Cloud Providers can now easily acquire small to medium sized customer 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 upgrades scenarios by listing following key design considerations.


Software – Bill of Materials (BOM)


Product Version Release date Build#

Cloud Builder VM 4.3.1 or latest 21 Sept 2021 18624509

SDDC Manager 4.3.1 or latest 21 Sept 2021 18624509

VMware vCenter Server Appliance7.0 Update 2d or latest 21 Sept 2021 18455184

VMware ESXi7.0 Update 2c or latest 24 Aug 2021 18426014

VMware NSX-T DC 3.1.3.1 or latest 26 Aug 2021 18504668


The infrastructure capacity for customer workloads may vary as per server hardware configuration. As always VMware strongly recommended to ensure have backup configured (image or file-level backups ) to avoid any data loss or extended downtime for customers workloads especially before upgrade process.


Upgrade key points :


  • 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.


Note :

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.

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