Using VMware vSphere with Juju

In order to use a vSphere cloud you will need to have an existing vSphere installation which supports VMware's Hardware Version 8 or better. The vSphere installation will also need access to a DNS for Juju to function.

Juju doesn't have baked-in knowledge of your specific vSphere cloud, but it does know how such clouds work. We just need to provide some information to add it to the list of known clouds.

Adding a vSphere cloud

To make Juju aware of your vSphere installation, you will need to define it within a YAML file containing the following values:

  • cloudname: an arbitrary name for your own reference
  • endpoint: the IP address of the VMware server
  • region name: a named region for each data centre

You will also need the name of one or more data centres. These can be listed within the vSphere web client by selecting 'vCenter Inventory Lists > Resources > Datacenters' from the hierarchical menu on the left. The values you need are listed in the 'Name' column, such as the 'dc0' and 'dc1' data centres shown here:

vSphere web client showing data centres

With a cloudname of myvscloud, an endpoint of and two data centres named 'dc0' and 'dc1' respectively, a basic configuration would look similar to this:

  type: vsphere
  auth-types: [userpass]
   dc0: {}
   dc1: {}

To add the above cloud definition to Juju, enter the following:

juju add-cloud myvscloud <YAML file>

You can check whether your vSphere installation has been added correctly by looking for the following in the output from juju clouds:

Cloud        Regions  Default        Type        Description
aws               11  us-east-1      ec2         Amazon Web Services
myvscloud          2  dc0            vsphere

Adding credentials

Credentials can be added by typing juju add-credential, followed by the name of the cloud you wish to add credentials for. This would be myvscloud in the above example:

juju add-credential myvscloud

The process now becomes interactive. You will first be asked for an arbitrary name for this credential, which you choose for yourself, followed by the username and password for your VMware installation.

Creating a controller

You are now ready to create a Juju controller for cloud 'myvscloud':

juju bootstrap myvscloud myvscloud-controller

Above, the name given to the new controller is 'myvscloud myvscloud-controller'. vSphere will provision an instance to run the controller on.

For a detailed explanation and examples of the bootstrap command see the Creating a controller page.

There are three VMware-specific options available for specifying the network and datastore to use:

  • primary-network
    The primary network that VMs will be connected to. If this is not specified, the first accessible network will be used.
  • external-network
    The name of an additional "external" network to which the VM should be connected. The IP from this network will be used as the public-address of the VMs.
  • datastore
    Datastore is the name of the datastore in which to create the VM. If this is not specified, the first accessible datastore will be used.

For example:

juju bootstrap myvscloud myvscloud-controller \
    --config primary-network=PRIMARY_NET \
    --config external-network=EXTERNAL_NET \
    --config datastore=NFSSTORE

Note: When you specify these options in the bootstrap command, they will only apply to the 'controller' and 'default' models. Use model-defaults if you want all new models to use those options.

Note: When bootstrapping Juju with vSphere, Juju downloads a cloud image to the Juju client machine and then uploads it to your cloud. If you're far away from the cluster, this may take some time.


When bootstrapping, Juju contemplates three levels of placement: Cloud, Region and Availability Zone. In vSphere, these are mapped in two different ways depending on your topology:

  • Cloud (vSphere endpoint), Region (data centre), Availability Zone (Host)
  • Cloud (vsphere endpoint), Region (data centre), Availability Zone (Cluster)

If your topology has a cluster without a host, Juju will see this as an Availability Zone and may fail silently. To solve this, either make sure the host is within the cluster, or be specific about placement. Ideally, you should always be explicit with placement while using this version of Juju.

You can be specific about placement by using the following syntax:

juju bootstrap vsphere/<datacenter> <controllername> --to zone=<cluster|host>

To bootstrap our previous example using the second data centre (dc1), for instance, you would enter the following:

juju bootstrap myvscloud/dc1 myvscontroller

Next steps

A controller is created with two models - the 'controller' model, which should be reserved for Juju's internal operations, and a model named 'default', which can be used for deploying user workloads.

See these pages for ideas on what to do next:

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