Each Platform Services Controller is associated with a vCenter Single Sign-On domain. The domain name defaults to vsphere.local, but you can change it during installation of the first Platform Services Controller. The domain determines the local authentication space. You can split a domain into multiple sites, and assign each Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server instance to a site. Sites are logical constructs, but usually correspond to geographic location.

When you install a Platform Services Controller, you are prompted to create a vCenter Single Sign-On domain or join an existing domain.

The domain name is used by the VMware Directory Service (vmdir) for all Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) internal structuring.

With vSphere 6.0 and later, you can give your vSphere domain a unique name. To prevent authentication conflicts, use a name that is not used by OpenLDAP, Microsoft Active Directory, and other directory services.

Note

You cannot change the domain to which a Platform Services Controller or vCenter Server instance belongs.

If you are upgrading from vSphere 5.5, your vSphere domain name remains the default (vsphere.local). For all versions of vSphere, you cannot change the name of a domain.

After you specify the name of your domain, you can add users and groups. It usually makes more sense to add an Active Directory or LDAP identity source and allow the users and groups in that identity source to authenticate. You can also add vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller instances, or other VMware products, such as vRealize Operations, to the domain.

You can organize Platform Services Controller domains into logical sites. A site in the VMware Directory Service is a logical container for grouping Platform Services Controller instances within a vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

Starting with vSphere 6.5, sites become important. During Platform Services Controller failover, the vCenter Server instances are affinitized to a different Platform Services Controller in the same site. To prevent your vCenter Server instances from being affinitized to a Platform Services Controller in a distant geographic location, you can use multiple sites.

You are prompted for the site name when you install or upgrade a Platform Services Controller. See the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.