VMware Cloud on AWS Instance I4i FAQ


With the announcement of the latest instance for VMware Cloud on AWS, the i4i.metal instance, we've captured some of the FAQs on this page! If you have more/other questions, feel free to reach out to us!


How is VMware Cloud on AWS deployed? 

VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure runs on dedicated, single-tenant, bare-metal hosts provided by AWS in a single account. Each host is either equivalent to an Amazon EC2 I3.metal instance (2 sockets with 18 cores per socket, 512 GiB RAM, and 15.2 TB Raw SSD storage), an EC2 I3en.metal instance (48 cores, 768 GiB RAM and 60 TB Raw SSD Storage) or an EC2 I4i.metal instance (64 cores, 1024 GiB RAM and 30 TiB Raw SSD Storage). Each host is capable of running many VMware Virtual Machines (tens to hundreds depending on their compute, memory and storage requirements). Clusters can range from a minimum of 2 hosts up to a maximum of 16 hosts per cluster. A single VMware vCenter server is deployed per SDDC environment. 

Pricing & TCO

Which subscriptions are available as flexible subscriptions? 

Subscriptions with I3.metal and I3en.metal instance type in all VMware Cloud on AWS regions are currently available as flexible subscriptions. Subscriptions for i4i.metal instance type are available in 12 VMware Cloud on AWS regions as flexible subscriptions.

What server profiles does the sizing and assessment tool recommend? 

Currently, the tool recommends "Fixed Server" profile based on the I3, I3en and I4i instance types. In the future, as VMware Cloud on AWS supports more instance and profile types, the recommendation will account for this and recommend the most optimized profile and instance type for your environment. 

I have a flexible subscription of I3/I3en. Can I use my leftover term to replace my I3/I3en hosts with the new i4i?

Yes, on an existing flexible subscription, you can use your remaining term/credits to replace with a new subscription (upfront paid, full-term) with i4i hosts. 

I have 2 more years left on my i3/i3en standard reserved instance but I'd like to avail the new I4i? What are my options? 

No, you cannot exchange your existing term of a standard subscription with the new I4i hosts. You can, however, purchase a new I4i subscription for your SDDC 

Where I can find I4i Pricing?

You can access the pricing information for I4i using this link.

Security & Compliance

Can a PCI Compliant SDDC be deployed on any host type (i.e. I3.metal, I3en.metal, or I4i.metal)? 

Yes. All PCI configurations are done at the SDDC layer and are independent of the underlying physical hosts. 

Is my data encrypted at rest? 

VMware Cloud on AWS provides customers with multiple layers of encryption to protect their Content. Self-Encrypting Drives The i3.metal, i3en.metal and i4i.metal instances used by VMware Cloud on AWS each contain eight local self-encrypting NVME drives. The Self-Encrypting Drives (SED) use AWS 256-bit XTS encryption and the keys for these drives are securely generated by the firmware on the drive itself. This process is handled by the AWS API interface that VMware calls when allocating or de-allocating hosts to a cluster. Encryption keys are generated in the SED controller and they never leave the drive. Whenever a host machine is removed from a cluster the data encryption keys used by the self encrypting drives are destroyed. This cryptographic erasure ensures that there is no Customer Content on the drives before returning the server to the pool of available hardware. VMware vSAN Encryption VMware Cloud on AWS utilizes VMware vSAN for all Content storage. VMware vSAN is a software-defined storage (SDS) product developed by VMware that pools together direct-attached storage devices across a VMware vSphere cluster to create a distributed, shared data store. VMware vSAN implements storage protection policies to ensure data is tolerant to the failure of one or more physical drives and hosts in a cluster. VMware vSAN also de-duplicates, compresses and encrypts data. vSAN Encrypts data with an XTS AES 256 cipher using Intel AES-NI hardware acceleration, in both the cache and capacity tiers of vSAN datastores. VMware has integrated VMware vSAN with the AWS Key Management Service, (KMS) to provide customers with a highly secure, highly-available and cost-effective method of generating encryption keys. The AWS KMS service uses FIPS 140-2 validated hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect the confidentiality and integrity of all customer keys. Whenever desired, VMware Cloud on AWS customers can rotate the key encryption keys through the vSAN API or the vSphere user interface. In-Guest Encryption Customers may also choose to implement encryption or security software within their guest operating system or applications. This enables a customer to use the same security software they use in their own data centers and utilize their own Key Management Infrastructure. 


In which regions is the 2-host cluster available today? 

The 2-host cluster is available in all commercial global AWS Regions where VMware Cloud on AWS is available today for the Amazon EC2 I3.metal, I3en.metal and I4i.metal instance type, except in the AWS GovCloud (US-West) region. Please see the FAQs on availability for full details about the regional availability of VMware Cloud on AWS.

How can I start using the I4i nodes for my SDDCs?

This resources described the cluster conversion process when moving from the I3 to the I4i instance type. More options for customers to start using I4i hosts are described here!

Does the 36 VM limitation also apply to the I4i instance?

No, the 36 VM limitation is only applicable to the I3 instance type. Because of more compute and storage resources, this limitation is not applicable to I3en and I4i instance types.

Can we reduce the number of hosts after the conversion?

The I4i instance type has more compute resources and more storage capacity when compared to I3. Therefore, it is likely that the consolidation ratio for your workloads and the number of hosts is less when using I4i compared to I3. Meaning you need fewer I4i hosts to run the same amount of workloads that were previously running on I3 hosts.

Does I4i support Custom Core Counts?

Yes, I4i supports physical custom core counts of 8, 16, 24, 30, 36, 48, 64. 

What is an I4i.metal instance, and what is its configuration?

The i4i.metal instance is a 128 vCPU, 1024 GiB memory and 8*3,750 GiB NvME SSD storage instance. It utilizes the Intel Xeon Ice Lake processor @3.5 GHz Turbo. This instance provides network-level encryption for east-west traffic by default. 

What are the minimum and maximum sizes for I4i.metal based clusters?

For I4i.metal instances, the minimum production cluster size is 2, and the maximum cluster size is 16. A VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC can contain up to 20 clusters.

Can customers create i4i Single Host SDDC?

Yes. Single host I4i deployments are available for a 60-day trial without service level objective (SLO).  

In which AWS regions I4i.metal instances are available?

The I4i.metal instances are available in the following regions:

  • US East (N. Virginia)
  • US East (Ohio)
  • US West (Oregon)
  • US West (N. California)
  • LATAM (Sao Paulo)
  • Canada (Central)
  • Europe (Frankfurt)
  • Europe (Ireland)
  • Europe (London)
  • Europe (Milan)
  • Europe (Stockholm)
  • Europe (Paris)
  • Asia Pacific (Mumbai)
  • Asia Pacific (Osaka)
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
  • Asia Pacific (Seoul)
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney)
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)

It will be made available across all the VMware Cloud on AWS regions in a phased manner. For availability in specific AWS availability zones within an AWS region, check the next questions. Please contact your VMware or AWS customer success or account representative for more details. 

In which availability zones I4i.metal instances are available?

The I4i.metal instances are available in the following regions and respective availability zones:

  • US East (N. Virginia) - use1-az1, use1-az2, use1-az4, use1-az5, use1-az6 
  • US West (Oregon) - usw2-az1, usw2-az2, usw2-az3, usw2-az4 
  • US West (N. California) - usw1-az1, usw1-az3 
  • US East (Ohio) - use2-az1, use2-az2, use2-az3
  • South America (Sao Paulo) - sae1-az1, sae1-az3
  • Canada (Central) - cac1-az1, cac1-az2 
  • Europe (Frankfurt) - euc1-az1, euc1-az2, euc1-az3
  • Europe (Ireland) - euw1-az1, euw1-az2, euw1-az3
  • Europe (London) - euw2-az1, euw2-az2, euw2-az3
  • Europe (Milan) - eu-south-1a, eu-south-1b, eu-south-1c
  • Europe (Stockholm) - eu-north-1a, eu-north-1b, eu-north-1c
  • Europe (Paris) -  euw3-az1, euw3-az2, euw3-az3
  • Asia Pacific (Mumbai) - ap-south-1a, ap-south-1b, ap-south-1c
  • Asia Pacific (Osaka) - ap-northeast-3a, ap-northeast-3b, ap-northeast-3c
  • Asia Pacific (Seoul) - apne2-az1, apne2-az3
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore) - apse1-az1, apse1-az2, apse1-az3 
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney) - apse2-az1, apse2-az2, apse2-az3
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo) - apne1-az1, apne1-az2, apne1-az4
Will there be an in-cluster conversion from existing i3/i3en clusters to I4i? 

Yes, VMware provides an in-cluster conversion service for qualified clusters. Details of in-cluster conversion are available here!

Stretched Clusters

Can I have more than one stretched cluster? 

You can create multiple stretched clusters in an SDDC deployed on I3.metal, I3en.metal, or I4i.metal instances. 

What instance types are supported with the ability to create multiple stretched clusters? 

Multiple stretched clusters are supported with the I3.metal, I3en.metal, and I4i.metal instances. 

Can I have a mix of I3.metal, I3en.metal and I4i.metal Stretched Clusters in the same SDDC? 

Yes, you can have a mix of one or more I3.metal, I3en.metal, and I4i.metal Stretched Clusters in the same SDDC.

Can I have mix of different instance types (e.g. I3.metal, I3en.metal, I4i.metal) within the same Stretched Cluster? 

No, a single Stretched Cluster can only consist of hosts of the same instance type. 



What type of storage can I use with my SDDC on VMware Cloud on AWS? 

Please note that exact usable storage will vary depending on the type of workload. All virtual machines are protected against a single host failure (FTT=1).  

Node Type 

Usable Storage (TiB) 

3 node vSAN cluster, NVMe SSD storage, FTT = 1 







Support for VMware Cloud certified external storage is also available for all instance types. There are two types of offerings: VMware Cloud on AWS with FsxN (NetApp ONTAP) and VMware Cloud Flex Storage. 

Can I use any hybrid storage (Flash + Spinning Disk)? 

We currently do not offer a hybrid storage solution. All I3.metal, I3en.metal and I4i.metal hosts are equipped with all-flash NVME SSD Storage. 


VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud (US)

How is VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud (US) deployed?

VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud (US) infrastructure runs on dedicated, single tenant host clusters within a dedicated AWS VPC associated with a single AWS account. Each host is equivalent to an Amazon EC2 I3.metal instance (2 sockets with 18 cores per socket, 512 GiB RAM, and 15.2 TB Raw SSD storage). Each host is capable of running many VMware Virtual Machines (tens to hundreds depending on their compute, memory and storage requirements). Clusters can range from a minimum 2 hosts up to a maximum of 16 hosts per cluster. A single VMware vCenter server is deployed within each SDDC environment. 


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