Feature Brief: SDDC Host Types


VMware Cloud on AWS delivers consistent vSphere-based infrastructure that runs on Amazon EC2 elastic, bare-metal instances that are dedicated to each customer. We do this globally across AWS Regions. The underlying instances provide the compute, storage, and networking infrastructure for your software defined data center. There are multiple host types available to optimize for particular use cases that may have different performance or data storage requirements. All hosts in a cluster must be identical, but you can deploy more than one cluster in an SDDC if another type of host is needed. Customers may be able to get better economics and performance by creating multiple clusters with different instance types based on their workload and environment needs.

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Note that some host types may not be available within a particular region or availability zone. Depending on the host type, cluster sizes of 1-16 nodes are supported. Our feature brief on SDDC Clusters will provide you with more cluster details, and our configuration maximum guide will provide you with soft/hard limits and other configuration information.


The i3 host type is our initial host offering and the default option for cluster deployments. These hosts are suitable for most workloads including general computing, databases, and virtual desktop deployments.

This host type is available for use in all cluster types including single-node, two-node, 3+ node, and stretched cluster deployments.

An i3 host type can provide you with a maximum cluster size of 16 hosts containing 576 cores, almost 9 TB of RAM, and 160 TB of raw storage capacity.


The i3en host type is optimized for data-intensive workloads both for storage-bound or general-purpose clusters. These hosts are suitable for workloads that have high capacity storage needs and have high transaction rates such as NoSQL databases, distributed file systems, and data warehouse. 

This host type is available for use in 3+ node and stretched cluster deployments, but not available for single-node or two-node deployments.

An i3en host type can provide you with a maximum cluster size of 16 hosts containing 768 cores, 13 TB of RAM, and roughly 768 TB of raw storage capacity.


With multiple host types available, you can choose the host that best fits your compute, storage, and use-case requirements with the added flexibility to shrink and grow your clusters on demand. To determine the appropriate host types and cluster sizes, be sure to check out the VMC Sizer.

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