Inventory objects in the vSphere Client represent resources in your virtual infrastructure.

Objects in vSphere Client are as follows:

Root folder

In vCenter Server only. Child objects are datacenters or subfolders. The root folder is set as a default for every vCenter Server system. You can change the name, but not add or remove it.

In a vCenter Server Connected Group, there is one root folder for each vCenter Server system in the group. The name of the root folder is the name of the vCenter Server system which it represents.


In vCenter Server only. Child objects are datacenters, hosts, clusters, networking objects, datastores, virtual machines, templates, or subfolders.


In vCenter Server only. A datacenter contains folders, clusters, hosts, networks, datastores and virtual machines. All actions taken upon managed hosts and virtual machines are applied within their datacenter. Within a datacenter, you can monitor and manage virtual machines separately from their hosts and use VMotion.


In vCenter Server only. Child objects are hosts, virtual machines, or resource pools.


Child objects of hosts are virtual machines or resource pools. Hosts are ESX/ESXi systems. The term host refers to the virtualization platform that is the host to one or more virtual machines. A host object is the default top structure for a standalone ESX/ESXi machine.

When the vCenter Server system is connected to the vSphere Client, all ESX/ESXi systems registered with vCenter Server are referred to as hosts. ESX/ESXi systems directly connected to the vSphere Client are referred to as standalone hosts.

Resource pools

Child objects of resource pools are virtual machines or other resource pools. Resource pools are available on ESX/ESXi hosts as well as through vCenter Server systems.

A vSphere Client resource pool is used to allocate host-provided CPU and memory to the virtual machines resident to the host.

Virtual machines

Located within a host, virtual disks on a datastore, associated within a cluster or resource pool. Can be listed as a child object to hosts, clusters, or resource pools. Can be moved between hosts or clusters. When adding to a cluster or resource pool, you must specify or have in the cluster or resource pool a designated target host.


A template is a master copy of a virtual machine that can be used to create and provision new virtual machines.


In vCenter Server only. Child object to datacenters and network folders. There are two types of networks: vNetwork Standard Switches (vSwitches) and vNetwork Distributed Switches. vNetwork Standard Switches are associated with a single host and are discovered when hosts are added to the vSphere environment. You can add and remove vNetwork Standard Switches through the vSphere Client. vNetwork Distributed Switches span multiple hosts. You can add and remove vNetwork Distributed Switches through the vSphere Client.


In vCenter Server only. Child object to datacenters and datastore folders. Datastores are logical containers that hold virtual disk files and other files necessary for virtual machine operations. Datastores exist on different types of physical storage devices, including local storage, iSCSI and Fibre Channel SANs, and NFS. You create datastores by formatting storage devices or by mounting NFS volumes on your host. In addition, you can add a host with existing datastores to the inventory.


Central repositories for virtual machine provisioning media such as virtual machine templates, ISO images, floppy images, VMDK files, guest customization files, and so on.