hzsk
Contributor
Contributor

vCenter Server 4 - install on Hyper-V VM

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Hi,

We have one blade system with VMware, but we  have another server with Hyper-V. I plan to install vCenter for VMware  blade server (3x ESXi) on Hyper-V VM. So it will be another hardware  from ESXi servers, but still virtual machine.

What do you think, it´s reasonable method or nonsense?

Thanks for reply (ies), HM

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sketchy00
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Yuck.  Sounds messy, and more complex than it needs to be.

How about this.  Just have a standalone system ESXi installed on it, but living outside of your vsphere cluster.  Let it run just one VM on it; the VM running VCenter.  This VM would ideally be living on your SAN in it's own LUN.  This way you would get the benefit of it being virtualized, but also the benefit of it not living inside of your vsphere cluster.  It's the way I do it, and I think it really offers the great combination of safety and portability.

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9 Replies
vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Hello.

Just out of curiosity, why are you planning to install vCenter in the Hyper-V envrionment?  There is no technical reason that it won't work.

Good Luck!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
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idle-jam
Immortal
Immortal

this can be done but then it makes no sense, why not just format the hyperV host and become ESXi which is more superior and you can put more VM per host in vsphere vs hyperV

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JoJoGabor
Expert
Expert

Just as a note to the Hyper-V performance argument, but I benchmarked Hyper-V vs VMware for VDI loads which were CPU bound, and Hyper-V actually acheived a not insignificant density of VMs per host.

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hzsk
Contributor
Contributor

So, my thoughts went in this way.

I have read the discussion about placing vCenter either on physical server or on VM here. There were arguments for both possibilities. So I think, that I can use another solution - install vCenter on Hyper-V VM (we have and we will have Hyper-V server in our company for non critical applications). So the vCenter is away from ESX hardware and I dont need some special physical hardware.

Do you think, it is better to install vCenter on VMware VM than Hyper-V VM?

HM

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sketchy00
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Yuck.  Sounds messy, and more complex than it needs to be.

How about this.  Just have a standalone system ESXi installed on it, but living outside of your vsphere cluster.  Let it run just one VM on it; the VM running VCenter.  This VM would ideally be living on your SAN in it's own LUN.  This way you would get the benefit of it being virtualized, but also the benefit of it not living inside of your vsphere cluster.  It's the way I do it, and I think it really offers the great combination of safety and portability.

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hzsk
Contributor
Contributor

OK, that sounds good.

Thank you for your replies.

HM

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VMmatty
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

If you go down that road, are you going to use the vSphere Hypervisor (free license) of ESXi?  If you're going to use the free license then you'll be running your vCenter server on a host that has no technical support from VMware.  What happens if you have a problem and can't bring the VM up?  Depending on your experience level with VMware you may or may not know how to easily recover that VM on a different host.

I think dedicating physical hardware to run just a single VM is a little wasteful and you aren't really taking advantage of any of the benefits of virtualization in that configuration.  Not to mention it hardly seems worth paying the cost of the vSphere license (plus support) just for one VM.

I don't see an issue running the vCenter VM on Hyper-V so long as your Hyper-V cluster is configured for failover.  You'll want to make sure that vCenter will restart automatically if the Hyper-V host it is running on fails.  Hyper-V is capable of doing that, but if you can't do that because of your Hyper-V configuration then I would run the vCenter VM in your cluster where it can take advantage of VMware HA.  Or run it as a physical server.

Matt

http://www.thelowercasew.com

Matt | http://www.thelowercasew.com | @mattliebowitz
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sketchy00
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Here is my position.

In the scenario I describe, one is dedicating hardware to the VM running vcenter yes, but you are decoupling it from the hardware by it living on the SAN.  I also did not specify what kind of hardware you'd be dedicating.  For 3 years I ran my vcenter VM on an ESX/i box sitting outside my cluster.  It was nothing more than a re-provisioned Dell Dimension workstation that was good for much else anyway.   When I went to change the host out to a newer/better system, I simply shutdown the vcenter VM on the old host, and powered it up on the new host.  If that dedicated box crapped out for some unknown reason.  Not a big deal.  Just temporarily power it up inside your cluster until you fix or build out that other host.

My main point being is that if you are running the vcenter VM inside your cluster, I think one is asking for trouble (only recently supported by VMWare, and still wrought with problems).  See how well that strategy works in a complete power-up or HA scenarios.  It's typical to run into "keys locked in your car" scenarios.  Complete power up scenarios are tough enough.  No need to introduce more.  The strategy of having this run on a dedicated ESXi host (but virtualized, and living on the SAN) does not introduce any costs for all practical purposes, and achieves the desired results; portability and protection of vcenter.

I believe the original poster was introducing the idea of it running on Hyper-V because of the uncertainty that he had on the entire issue.  By offering up this alternative, my position is that he doesn't need to add more complexity to the system for some sense of fault tolerance that is questionable in the first place.

There are a million different ways to do this stuff, I know.  What I am offering is a simple, practical solution that really works well.  Ultimately the original poster will need to make the judgement for themselves.

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VMmatty
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I agree this is a complicated topic and the idea of using a management cluster for vCenter (and other VMs like Ops Manager) has been around for a while.  No disagreement here.  My point was really just that there is a "cost" to introducing another ESXi host into the environment even with the free license, including the capital costs on the server and software, maintenance on the hardware and software, and soft costs of the employee(s) who have to manage it.

As you said it is up to the original poster to decide.  Either scenario can work just fine (including keeping it on Hyper-V), I think it comes down to design requirements.

Matt

http://www.thelowercasew.com

Matt | http://www.thelowercasew.com | @mattliebowitz
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