I've always run vCenter as a VM itself with 1 vCPU and never had any issues (related to loads, haha).
...then again I only have 5 hosts and less than 250 VMs.
Sure, me too .. but what is VMware official answer? One or two CPUs?
Jose Maria Gonzalez,
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It really seems to come down to whether or not you want a supported configuration. If you call in for support, you might possibly be asked to up your system to meet the requirements before you are helped. I don't personally know, but I could see this happening. It could be an obstacle, or a minor annoyance to obtaining timely support.
Duncan's site has a great entry about sizing vCenter. Using Duncan's recommendations and depending on the size of your environment, it could be a moot point.
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I have 21 esx hosts and 100 linked clones -- I haven't experienced any issues running vCenter with 1 Vcpu. One thing to remember is to deploy the database on a seperate server.