Hello vAdmins,

Check out the latest version of VMware Cloud Foundation that has just been released. This post provides a concise overview of this specific release.

VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1.1 in a nutshell:

Let’s start with Bill of Materials:


Software ComponentVersionDateBuild Number
Cloud Builder VM5.1.126 MAR 202423480823
SDDC Manager5.1.126 MAR 202423480823
VMware vCenter Server Appliance8.0 Update 2b29 FEB 202423319993
VMware ESXi8.0 Update 2b29 FEB 202423305546
VMware vSAN Witness Appliance8.0 Update 221 SEP 202322443122
VMware NSX4.1.2.312 MAR 202423382408
VMware Aria Suite Lifecycle8.1629 FEB 202423377566


VMware Cloud Foundation is in the process of migrating towards a consolidated licensing model. This shift is being rolled out in stages to streamline the licensing procedure and reduce the requirement to oversee various licenses for separate VCF components.

License Now” and “License Later” feature 

With the release of VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1.1, customers now have the flexibility to set up a new VCF instance in Evaluation mode without having to input any license keys.

The Deployment Parameters Workbook in xlsx format, utilized by the Cloud Builder appliance for deploying a fresh VCF 5.1.1 instance, has been updated to include a dropdown menu offering the options “License Now” or “License Later.” By default, the selection for “License Later” has been simplified to streamline the licensing procedure.

Solution Licensing key

VMware Cloud Foundation is transitioning to a unified licensing model. 

The VMware Cloud Foundation Solution License key covers VMware vSphere, NSX Networking, TKG, HCX, and VMware Aria Suite elements. When you link the VMware software component to the vCenter server as a data source, the Solution License key is applied seamlessly without requiring manual re-entry. You can locate the Solution License on the licensing page of each individual product component, identified as “vSphere 8 Ent Plus for VCF.

Skip-level upgrade

Skip-level upgrade support allows a customer running older versions of VCF to upgrade to the latest VCF 5.1.1 release by skipping intermediary VCF versions.

When migrating from VCF 4.4.x to VCF 5.1, SDDC Manager adopts skip-level upgrades for vCenter Server and ESXi host components. The NSX components go through a two-step upgrade process from version 3.1 to 3.2 before progressing to NSX 4.1.

Through SDDC Manager’s guided workflows, all SDDC components are upgraded in the appropriate sequence.

Product Lifecycle and support

The product lifecycle policies for new and existing VMware Cloud Foundation releases have been redefined.

Check out this page for a comprehensive summary containing all the details regarding this specific release note.

End of this post.

Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed in this blog are solely my own and should be treated as personal opinions. This content does not hold any legal or authoritative standing.

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