New vCenter Server Architecture and Deployment

VMware used VMworld to disclose under development features of the new vSphere 6.0 (still in beta).
This overview contains functionality which may not actually make it into the public released version.

Intro

October 16, 9:00 am, last day at VMworld 2014 in Barcelona. Breakout session vCenter Server Architecture and Deployment Deep Dive. The speakers, Justin King – Architect and Harish Niddagatta – Sr. Product Manager from VMware revealed future directions for vCenter Server, emphasizing changes to the vCenter Server architecture and deployment models.

Fig. 1 Justin King at VMworld 2014 in Barcelona

Fig. 1 Justin King at VMworld 2014 in Barcelona

New vCenter Architecture

In the new release of vCenter, VMware introduces Platform Services Controller (PSC).

PSC will include a set of common infrastructure services that are used (and can be shared) by vCloud Suite (vCenter, vCOPs, vCloud Automation Center, etc.):

  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Licensing
  • Certificate Authority
  • Certificate Store
  • Service (Product) Registration

VMware Certificate Authority (VMCA) allows to view and manage from the vSphere Web Client the full certificate lifecycle workflow. VMCA will act as a root certificate authority either managing its own certificates or handling certificates from an external Certificate Authority.

Service (Product) registration is a component that all other services register to and it is the service that will tell you all the services that are running in the system.

You can either have the PSC embedded within vCenter Server or run it as an external component to vCenter Server (see Fig. 2)

vcenter

Fig. 2 vCenter Server – Embedded PSC vs. External PSC

The PSC built into vCenter rely on vPostgres database so there’s no additional database to worry about and it runs in both the Windows and appliance version. The PSCs self replicate; don’t use Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) so it can replicate between Windows and vCSA – appliance vCenters.

vCenter Server with Embedded PSC:

  • sufficient for most environments
  • easy to maintain and deploy
  • supports up to 8 vCenter Servers
  • supports embedded & external vCenter DB
  • supports Windows & Appliance

vCenter Server with External PSC:

  • for larger customers with numerous vCenter Servers
  • reduces footprint by sharing PSC accross serveral vCenter Servers
  • recommended for 3+ vCenter Srvers per site
  • supports embedded & external vCenter DB
  • supports Windows & Appliance

 Simplified deployment

Following users feedback, the vCenter installer for Windows has been simplified. We are back to one installer with a better pre-check functionality.

vcenter_install

Fig. 3 vCenter Center Appliance Install

During installation you can choose between embedded and external (pre-existing) PSCs (see Fig. 2).

For advanced administrators it is possible scripted install.

vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) Improvements

In vCSA 5.1 you can manage 100 hosts and 3000 powered on VMs. The next vSphere will match the Windows install with 1000 hosts and 10,000 powered on VMs.

MetricWindowsAppliance
Hosts per VC1kYes
Powered on VMs per VC10kYes
Hosts per cluster64Yes
VMs per cluster6kYes
Linked mode10Yes

Internal database remains vPostgres. For external databases, both Oracle and Microsoft SQL were successfully tested though as Microsoft doesn’t have an officially supported ODBC Driver for Linux (SLES), Oracle remains the only external database supported.

Enhanced Linked Mode

 vSphere 5.5 (LM)Tech Preview (ELM)
vCenter for WindowsYesYes
vCenter Server ApplianceNoYes
Single Sign-OnYesYes
Single Inventory ViewYesYes
Single Inventory SearchYesYes
Replication technnologyADAMNative
- roles and permissionsYesYes
- licensesYesYes
- policiesNoYes
- tagsNoYes

vSphere Client and Web Client

VI Client (C# Client) is still present for next release following customer feedback. Though no new functionality will be added and it will able to manage only a subset of vSphere functions.

Web client will not switch yet from Flash.

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Gica Livada

Technical Consultant at IRIS Luxembourg SA
Gica is working in Luxembourg and is former member of the VMware Centre of Excellence team from IBM Delivery Center in Brno, Czech Republic. He is passionate about virtualization and cloud technologies, holds multiple industry certifications from IBM, VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and he is also vExpert 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Latest posts by Gica Livada (see all)

About Gica Livada

Gica is working in Luxembourg and is former member of the VMware Centre of Excellence team from IBM Delivery Center in Brno, Czech Republic. He is passionate about virtualization and cloud technologies, holds multiple industry certifications from IBM, VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and he is also vExpert 2014, 2015 and 2016.
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