By default, VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) requires a minimum of 4 ESXi hosts to construct the Management Domain which is fine for a production environment, but it can be a challenge for those interested in explore VCF in a homelab setting.
I recently came to learn about a really cool tidbit from one of our VCF Engineers on how you can actually deploy a VCF Management Domain using just a single ESXi host, ideal for a homelab setup! 😍
Not only could this benefit users in deploying a physical VCF setup but it would also benefit anyone using my Automated Lab Deployment Script for VCF, which makes it super easy by leveraging my Nested ESXi Virtual Appliance VMs.
In fact, that was how I quickly verified this trick works using my VCF automation script 😀
The way that this work is a configuration change to Cloud Builder to tell it to allow a single ESXi host to be used and it will simply setup a single node vSAN Cluster, which is typically how you would bootstrap if you were doing a greenfield deployment. The only difference here is that instead of adding additional 3 x ESXi hosts to provide redundancy for Management Domain, it simply is relaxing that requirement and thus allowing for a single ESXi host. vSAN is still a requirement for VCF Management Domain, so ensure you can meet those requirements still.