Home VMware Deploying VCF Management Domain with 3 or less Host

Deploying VCF Management Domain with 3 or less Host

by Mohamed Imthiyaz
3 host VCF

In a typical deployment of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF), the management domain requires a minimum of four ESXi hosts: VMware Doc

However, for lab or proof-of-concept (POC) environments, flexibility is key. Fortunately, you can override this default requirement by making a few adjustments in the configuration file of Cloud Builder.

Here’s a simple guide on how to tweak the settings to suit your lab needs:

As you see in the above screenshot, I have 3 hosts in my lab and want to deploy VCF Management Domain.
You will need to fill in your Excel with the number of hosts you have in your environment. Let’s begin.

Step 1: Edit Configuration File

Open the configuration file for Cloud Builder using the following command:

Please note, that I am changing it to “3” You can change it as per your requirement.

echo "bringup.mgmt.cluster.minimum.size=3" >> /etc/vmware/vcf/bringup/application.properties
systemctl restart vcf-bringup.service

Step 2: Convert your Planning Workbook xlsx to Json

Download the Excel from here

Upload your filled Excel (You can fill 1,2 or 3 hosts as per your need) to Cloud Builder using scp or winscp

SSH to Cloud Builder with admin user and switch to root.

/opt/vmware/bringup/scripts/json-generator.sh vcf-deploy.xlsx vcf-deploy.json vcf-ems

Step 3: Download the JSON

SCP or WINSCP the json back to your Jump/Machine, edit, and remove the unnecessary hosts.

This is 1 host spec

      "association": "Cluster-DC",
      "ipAddressPrivate": {
        "ipAddress": ""
      "hostname": "esxi-01",
      "credentials": {
        "username": "root",
        "password": "Passw0rd"
      "vSwitch": "vSwitch0"

In my case, I still have 3 hosts so vSAN will still work. But if you are doing with two or one you have to change the default policies to hostFailuresToTolerate = 0. This should be added under clusterSpec you can add it after clusterName

"clusterName": "Cluster-01",
"hostFailuresToTolerate": 0,

Step 4: Validate and Deploy the Management Domain

Go to Cloud Builder https://Cloud-Builder-IP

Login with admin credentials upload the edited JSON, and Validate it. You can also tail the log from Cloud Builder ssh while it validates.

tail -f /opt/vmware/bringup/logs/vcf-bringup-debug.log

Happy labbing!
Hope this Helps.

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