• Preetam Zare

{Day-04} Learning VMware Cloud Foundation Workload Domains

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Cloud Foundation introduces a new abstraction, workload domains, for creating logical pools across compute, storage, and networking. A workload domain consists of one or more vSphere clusters, provisioned automatically by SDDC Manager.

SDDC Manager automates upgrade and patch management for the SDDC software stack.

VMware provides update bundles for the SDDC stack, ensuring compatibility of all patches with installed components in your Cloud Foundation environment. You can apply an update to the management domain or VI workload domains independent of the other workload domains. This makes the process non-disruptive to tenant VMs.There are two types of workload domains - the management domain and VI workload domains.

Management Domain

The management domain is created during the bring-up process. It contains the Cloud Foundation management components (need link to {Day-03} Learning VMware Cloud Foundation). This includes an instance of vCenter Server and required NSX for vSphere components (NSX Manager and three NSX Controller VMs) for the management domain. All vRealize Suite components, such as vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Operations Manager (optionally) and vRealize Automation (optionally), are installed in the management domain. The management domain uses vSAN storage.

Take aways (Updated: 02.12.2019)

  • All SDDC components (management workloads and networking components) are installed in MGMTDOM.

  • Runs on vSAN as Primary storage

  • NFS can be used as secondary storage

  • NSX-V.

  • Minimum 4 nodes required

Things that need further clarification

How licensing works for MGMTDOM

What are the sizing considerations for MGMTDOM

VI workload domains

Cloud Foundation implements Virtual Infrastructure (VI) workload domains for user workloads. You can choose the storage option (vSAN, NFS, or VMFS on FC) and NSX Platform (NSX for vSphere or NSX-T) for each VI workload domain. The workload domain can consist of one or more vSphere clusters. Each cluster starts with a minimum of three hosts and can scale up to the vSphere maximum of 64 hosts. SDDC Manager automates creation of the workload domain and the underlying vSphere cluster(s).

For each NSX for vSphere (a.k.a NSX-V) VI workload domain, SDDC Manager deploys an additional NSX Manager instance in the management domain to manage that VI workload domain. The three NSX Controller VMs are deployed in the VI workload domain cluster. These controller VMs communicate with the dedicated NSX Manager deployed in the management domain.

For the first NSX-T VI workload domain in your environment, SDDC Manager deploys a vCenter Server and NSX Manager cluster in the management domain. An additional vCenter Server is deployed for each subsequent NSX-T VI workload domain, but it shares the same NSX Manager cluster.

Take aways

  • Options are available to select which storage to use as primary storage. This is unclear to me whether that storage is green field or can use existing storage. Though SDDC designed to be Green field. I need to read here

  • Whether to deploy NSX-V or NSX-T. I would strongly argue a case for NSX-T as there is virtually no development happening in NSX-V space. NSX-V Product is dying silently.

  • WLD may contain more than one cluster. And each cluster starts at 3 node minimum and same may not apply for vSAN as it needs 4 minimum recommended. It might be worth noting this was added as feature sometime back.

  • With NSX-V there is one to one relationship between vCenter and NSX-V, so for every WLD, 1x vCenter and 1x NSX-V Manager in MGMTDOM, and 3 x NSX Controllers are deployed in the respective cluster in WLD. So in directly - size of MGMTDOM is directly proportional to number of WLD. I`m wondering what are the use cases for creating multiple WLD. Need further reading here

  • But in NSX-T, NSX-T Manager and vCenter there is no 1 to 1 relationship. So NSX-T Manager is only deployed once in the SDDC LCM. In other words, there is less impact on sizing of MGMTDOM when deploying NSX-T. what is unclear is where are the NSX-T controllers deployed?

  • Do note today only NSX-V is deployed in MGMTDOM. NSX-T is yet to be designed for it. Personally I feel it might happen soon and when that happen, then it is a hint that NSX-V is going out of sales/Support very soon.


©2019 by virtual2Cloud. Proudly created with