[INFO] What Does Preparing a Host for vCloud Director Do?

This question comes up a lot and only recently did I ask this of engineering and the answer is quite simple.  We all know that Preparing a host for vCloud Director essentially installs the vCloud Director Agent onto ESXi.  However, the secondary question that usually gets asked is, “What does the vCloud Director Agent actually do?”  I decided to ask that and I was also told I could publish the answer.  Frankly, the answer is quite simple really.

The vCloud Director Agent is used for two things:

  1. Communicating with the cross host fencing vmkernel module that is installed when the agent is pushed. This is needed when you use VCD-NI network pools.
  2. Retrieving virtual machine thumbnails

I was pretty sure I knew about the VCD-NI aspect I just forgot about it.  The image thumbnails on the other hand was quite news to me.  Either way, now we know what the vCloud Director Agent does once it is installed as part of the host preparation.  For information on ways to manually remove the agent see the related posts below.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Hi Chris,

    You can check that when using esxcli and the vcloud namespace 🙂


  2. Hi there,

    I’m using the VCA, but I don’t find the vcloud agent in the directory of my esxi (opt/vmware….). Neither, the directory vcloud-directo does not appear.

    I’m trying to install the agent manuelly, because the vCD wasn’t able to install itself, due to some ESXCLI problem.

    I’m counting on your help.

    Best Regards,

    Anouar HNINI

    • Depending on the version of ESXi the agent installs differently.  You can see from my other article on how to remove the agent manually it differs by ESXi version.  If you are having trouble I would suggest a call into support as there may be something else wrong.  I have never personally had a host not get the agent installed from the Cell.

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