I am in the midst of standing up a new VDI environment to migrate from the current View (5.3) to 6. I was speaking with a vendor we have engaged to help with some of the configuration, and he mentioned off-hand that it was best practice to load Composer onto my vCenter server. Now, I know I can do it either way, but I have not been able to find any documentation stating that this configuration is best practice, or outlining the benefits of doing it this way rather than separate servers (aside from the obvious MS licensing costs, compute resources, etc. of having another server). Can anyone speak to this, and direct me to any official documentation that would back this statement up?
This document discusses Composer deployment options.
Separate or together depends on how many desktops will be deployed.
I can only comment from my own experience.
I decided not to use a windows server for VCenter when upgrading to 6.1.1 - Instead we are using the Vcenter Appliance. and I couldn't be happier.
That does mean I have a standalone VComposer Windows server it keeps it nice and clean.
Larsonm is correct here. The design choice to put composer on vCenter really depends on your use case. How many desktops, how many operations, etc. You can find all of that in the architecture planning documentation.
Honestly, I would never say that either choice (on vCenter / Standalone) is a "best practice". The best practice is whichever choice is best for your design, based on the architecture planning notes.
So, to speak to the question of this being a best practice. As far as VMware, I should know but cannot tell you. As far as a infrastructure systems best practice, absolutely I would say it is a best practice to separate the two. Any time you can separate workloads onto separate systems, you have lowered the risk of one workload impacting both. For example, having the databases on a separate system. Your Composer needs vCenter to work but your vCenter does not need Composer to work. I always prefer to have as few eggs in one basket as possible.
In my experience with the VDI environments I manage, it is much nicer to have the View Composer as a separate server when it comes to upgrading VMware components, both View and vSphere. I have performed the exact migration your are undertaking 3 times now (5.3 -> 6.x) and the in the environments that had the view composer installed on vCenter, I moved them to separate servers as part of the migration.