Previous vCF articles from the series:

  1. Introduction to VMware Cloud Foundation 3.9.1 : Part1VMware Cloud
  2. Foundation 3.9.0 Nested Deployment – Part 2: Lab Setup
  3. VMware Cloud Foundation 3.9.0 Nested Deployment – Part 3 Nested ESXi pre and post deployment

vCF deployment preparation:

In the last article I described how I prepared my underlying infrastructure for the deployment of vCF. This one details the preparation steps required to deploy vCF.

Before starting the deployment process, following tasks are required:

  1. Download Deployment VM (I used version 3.9.0 – VMware-Cloud-Builder-
  2. Download Deployment Parameter Sheet (vcf-ems-deployment-parameter_3.9.0.xlsx)
  3. Complete Deployment Parameter Sheet

A couple of details on the parameter sheet:

  • I used different  VLAN for all the networks of the nested environment. Although this is far from best practices, it does not create any issue with the deployment of the solution. Nevertheless, I only wanted to test the deployment of vCF and not keep it running for long.
  • I chose a 9000 MTU size for all the networks.
  • The password validation for the NSX Controller VM is not taking into account the minimal password length. Take care to use a longer password than for the rest (e.g. “VMware12345!”)
  • Ensure to add the license keys as they will be validated later in the bring-up process.

If there are issues during the deployment, the process will stop at the failed task. Once the issue is solved, it can be retried and the process will continue normally.

During the bring-up process, I experienced two main issues, which I had to solve before I could continue:

  • The migration the VMKernel interfaces for management of two hosts from the vSwitch to the vDS failed constantly. This was due to the nested environment. On one host I could solve the issue by simply rebooting it, and changing portgroup of the nested ESXi host and switching it back again.
    This procedure did not work on the second host. (Note that this happened in two distinct vCF deployments). To work around the issue, I created a new VMKernel interface on the vDS, then turned on Management on the new VMK. I then removed the original VMK0 interface and created a new VMK0 on the vDS. Then I could enable management on the new VMK0 interface again and delete the temporary VMKernel interface.
    To not loose connectivity between the host and vCenter, I temporarily changed the DNS entry on the DNS server, and flushed the DNS cache on the vCenter appliance with following command: systemctl restart dnsmasq
    After solving this issue, the task completed successfully and the bring-up process continued.
  • NTP issues, as this is nested environment had lot of NTP issues.


This article described the process I used to deploy vCF 3.9.0  successfully in a nested environment.
I hope by sharing it, I can help some people to get it done, too.

The next article will take it from here and describe the first post-installation tasks in SDDC Manager.