amlyo
Contributor
Contributor

VirtualCenter and its place within virtualised infrastructure

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Hi,

We're looking at migrating from several separate machines running workloads under Vmware Server to Vmware Infrastructure.

We have some questions about VirtualCenter Server, any help would be appreciated:

  1. Is having VirtualCenter in place required to take advantage of VMWare Infrastructure components like VMotion and DRS?

  2. What are the system requirements for VirtualCenter Server - in particular does it need to run on a physical machine and need it be particularly powerful?

  3. On licensing, VCS seems to be licensed per instance rather than per processor, and must be purchased in addition to vmware infrastructure. Have I understood this correctly?

  4. Lastly, do you ypically considered VCS a critical part of your virtualised infrastructure. I mean, do we need to run multiple redundant instances in case of failure?

Thanks in advance.

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RParker
Immortal
Immortal

Is having VirtualCenter in place required to take advantage of VMWare Infrastructure components like VMotion and DRS?

YES.

What are the systemWhat are the system requirements for VirtualCenter Server - in particular does it need to run on a physical machine and need it be particularly powerful?

No a simple dual processor with 2 Gb RAM is sufficient. The DB needs to be on a separate server.

On licensing, VCS seems to be licensed per instance rather than per processor, and must be purchased in addition to vmware infrastructure. Have I understood this correctly?

Yes, but you can include it as part of your VI enterprise license, you only need 1 license for VC.

Lastly, do you ypicallyconsidered VCS a critical part of your virtualised infrastructure. I mean, do we need to run multiple redundant instances in case of failure?

No it just manages your environment, and if it should fail, you can rebuild it rather quickly. Any Windows Server can be a VC.

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RParker
Immortal
Immortal

Is having VirtualCenter in place required to take advantage of VMWare Infrastructure components like VMotion and DRS?

YES.

What are the systemWhat are the system requirements for VirtualCenter Server - in particular does it need to run on a physical machine and need it be particularly powerful?

No a simple dual processor with 2 Gb RAM is sufficient. The DB needs to be on a separate server.

On licensing, VCS seems to be licensed per instance rather than per processor, and must be purchased in addition to vmware infrastructure. Have I understood this correctly?

Yes, but you can include it as part of your VI enterprise license, you only need 1 license for VC.

Lastly, do you ypicallyconsidered VCS a critical part of your virtualised infrastructure. I mean, do we need to run multiple redundant instances in case of failure?

No it just manages your environment, and if it should fail, you can rebuild it rather quickly. Any Windows Server can be a VC.

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chandlm
Expert
Expert
  1. Is having VirtualCenter in place required to take advantage of VMWare Infrastructure components like VMotion and DRS?

Yes, you would need VirtualCenter for most of the advanced features

  1. What are the system requirements for VirtualCenter Server - in particular does it need to run on a physical machine and need it be particularly powerful?

It can run on a VM, many people are doing just that now to take advantage of the HA options if nothing else. Sizing depends on your environment really, but nothing out of hand. Check out this document for sizing it as a VM http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_vc_in_vm.pdf

  1. On licensing, VCS seems to be licensed per instance rather than per processor, and must be purchased in addition to vmware infrastructure. Have I understood this correctly?

Yes you have

  1. Lastly, do you ypically considered VCS a critical part of your virtualised infrastructure. I mean, do we need to run multiple redundant instances in case of failure?

I don't currently, I take advantage of HA. But I would personally keep the SQL database backed up (and on a separate protected server most likely). I also am working on implementing VCB for image level backups but until then I do periodic P2Vs just to have one for easier recovery.

chill
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Here are a couple of documents to read about Virtual Centre and Infrastructure 3.

You have understood the licensing correctly. When purchasing licenses for VI3 you need to state Virtual Centre licenses also. The Virtual Centre server does not need to be on a physical box. It can be virtualized. I currently run my Virtual Centre server and License server on the same physical box (database is SQL on separate physical box), It's an IBm x345 with 2 gig of ram and 2 2.4 ghz cpu. It doesn't need to be this large, it's what we had available at the time. In my opinion, Virtual Centre is a vital part of VI3. I currently do not have it clustered, but am looking into making it highly available. If you are looking at using DRS, VMotion etc.. you need to purchase VI3 Enterprise licenses, not standard. This will include

  • VMware ESX 3.5 or VMware ESXi 3.5

  • VirtualCenter Agent

  • VMware Virtual Machine File System (VMFS)

  • VMware Virtual Symmetric Multi-Processing (vSMP)

  • VMware Update Manager (Guest and Host)

  • VMware VMotion + Storage VMotion

  • VMware High Availability (HA)

  • VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)

  • VMware Consolidated Backup

If you find this information helpful or correct, please consider awarding points.

If you find this information helpful or correct, please consider awarding points.
amlyo
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your help everyone - really appreciated.

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