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Prerequisites

Choosing a method to install OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere

You can install OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere by using installer-provisioned or user-provisioned infrastructure. The default installation type uses installer-provisioned infrastructure, where the installation program provisions the underlying infrastructure for the cluster. You can also install OpenShift Container Platform on infrastructure that you provide. If you do not use infrastructure that the installation program provisions, you must manage and maintain the cluster resources yourself.

See the Installation process for more information about installer-provisioned and user-provisioned installation processes.

The steps for performing a user-provisioned infrastructure installation are provided as an example only. Installing a cluster with infrastructure you provide requires knowledge of the vSphere platform and the installation process of OpenShift Container Platform. Use the user-provisioned infrastructure installation instructions as a guide; you are free to create the required resources through other methods.

Installer-provisioned infrastructure installation of OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere

Installer-provisioned infrastructure allows the installation program to pre-configure and automate the provisioning of resources required by OpenShift Container Platform.

  • Installing a cluster on vSphere: You can install OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere by using installer-provisioned infrastructure installation with no customization.

  • Installing a cluster on vSphere with customizations: You can install OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere by using installer-provisioned infrastructure installation with the default customization options.

  • Installing a cluster on vSphere with network customizations: You can install OpenShift Container Platform on installer-provisioned vSphere infrastructure, with network customizations. You can customize your OpenShift Container Platform network configuration during installation, so that your cluster can coexist with your existing IP address allocations and adhere to your network requirements.

  • Installing a cluster on vSphere in a restricted network: You can install a cluster on VMware vSphere infrastructure in a restricted network by creating an internal mirror of the installation release content. You can use this method to deploy OpenShift Container Platform on an internal network that is not visible to the internet.

User-provisioned infrastructure installation of OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere

User-provisioned infrastructure requires the user to provision all resources required by OpenShift Container Platform.

VMware vSphere infrastructure requirements

You must install the OpenShift Container Platform cluster on a VMware vSphere version 7 instance that meets the requirements for the components that you use.

Table 1. Version requirements for vSphere virtual environments
Virtual environment product Required version

VM hardware version

15 or later

vSphere ESXi hosts

7.0.2 or later

vCenter host

7.0.2 or later

Installing a cluster on VMware vSphere version 7.0.1 or earlier is now deprecated. These versions are still fully supported, but version 4.11 of OpenShift Container Platform requires vSphere virtual hardware version 15 or later. Hardware version 15 is now the default for vSphere virtual machines in OpenShift Container Platform. To update the hardware version for your vSphere nodes, see the "Updating hardware on nodes running in vSphere" article.

If your vSphere nodes are below hardware version 15 or your VMware vSphere version is earlier than 6.7.3, upgrading from OpenShift Container Platform 4.10 to OpenShift Container Platform 4.11 is not available.

Table 2. Minimum supported vSphere version for VMware components
Component Minimum supported versions Description

Hypervisor

vSphere 6.7u3 and later with HW version 15

This version is the minimum version that Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) supports. See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 supported hypervisors list.

Storage with in-tree drivers

vSphere 6.7u3 and later

This plug-in creates vSphere storage by using the in-tree storage drivers for vSphere included in OpenShift Container Platform.

Optional: Networking (NSX-T)

vSphere 7.0.1 and later

vSphere 7.0.1 is required for OpenShift Container Platform. VMware’s NSX Container Plug-in (NCP) is certified with OpenShift Container Platform 4.6 and NSX-T 3.x+.

You must ensure that the time on your ESXi hosts is synchronized before you install OpenShift Container Platform. See Edit Time Configuration for a Host in the VMware documentation.

VMware vSphere CSI Driver Operator requirements

The following requirements must be met in order to install the CSI Driver Operator:

  • VMware vSphere version 7.0.1 or later

  • Virtual machines of hardware version 15 or later

  • No third-party CSI driver already installed in the cluster

If a third-party CSI driver is present in the cluster, OpenShift Container Platform does not overwrite it. The presence of a third-party CSI driver prevents OpenShift Container Platform from upgrading in a future release.

Additional resources

Uninstalling an installer-provisioned infrastructure installation of OpenShift Container Platform on vSphere