VxRack SDDC Overview (Part 2)

Bringing up the System 

There are a few acronyms that we need to be familiar with before we begin to build out the system.

VIA : The VMware Imaging Appliance is used for imaging the physical racks. It images the physical switches, ESXi hosts , and deploys the VM’s needed to complete the system build out incl SDDC Manager. The VIA is installed via an OVA template and it runs services like DHCP and PXE to discover and identify devices and perform the imaging.

SDDC Manager : SDDC manager is responsible for provisioning and managing the logical and physical resources . Once the rack is imaged by VIA then SDDC manager completes the build out procedure .

Imaging Rack

Once you have the VIA deployed then you need to upload the vCF software bundle ISO to the VM and activate it

This ISO contains all the software and scripts needed to image the rack , it includes the following components :

  • vSAN
  • vSphere
  • NSX
  • vRealize Log Insight
  • SDDC Manager
  • vRealise Operations
  • PSC
  • VMware Horizon View


Once the bundle is activated then you provide a name for the imaging run as well as selecting the deployment type of either full or individual component


Note : Make sure to select “Add-on Rack” if imaging an additional rack

Once imaging has completed successfully then you will see the following screen


The imaging procedure configures vSAN on the first Host and deploys the VM’s to this host and datastore. It also copies the software bundle up to the vSAN datastore and connects the ISO to the SDDC manager VM so this VM can continue the build out process.

Note : Once imaging has completed, you need to get the root password that has been assigned to the SDDC manager VM. To do this type the following into a browser

Cloud Foundation Bring up Process

At this stage you are ready to log into the SDDC Manager VM to continue the process


After setting the system time , the system will perform a power on self validation where all the physical components in the rack will be verified as being operational.

You can then step through the rest of the wizard and fill in the necessary details. There are seperate pages for General config / mgmt / vMotion / vSAN / VXLAN / and the data centre connections.

Make note of the component IP allocations as these are required later in the bring up process



Note : All components are configured to use the SDDC manager VM for DNS and NTP services. SDDC Manager uses a piece of software called unbound for name resolution and uses a forwarder address for external name resolution.

Once the procedure is completed then you will be prompted to perform password rotation which will change the passwords on all components


To view all the component passwords , you can ssh to the SDDC manager VM and type the following commands

cd /home/vrack/bin/

./vrm-cli.sh lookup-password

At this stage the system should be built and you can log into Virtual Centre

All Screenshots taken from VMware Cloud Foundation Overview and Bring-Up Guide

Further Reading