DionRow
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Where should I run my vCenter Server? Inside the cluster it manages?

I am have recently setup a blade center with VMware esxi and am torn on where the best place is for vCenter.

I logically feels like its a bad idea to manager the DRS and HA cluster from a machine within the cluster and many of my coworkers agree.

I see however that VMware says there are benefits to putting in a cluster and using HA on it. I thought this may be nice as long as its easy to find the machine if/when something went wrong and I had to access directly. I don't know if you can turn off DRS on a VM and stick it to a couple blades doing just HA?

Can anyone provide me with a real world experience why or why not to put the vCenter on a couple blades inside the new cluster? Or advice to good resources explaining best practices with reagrds to this? In other words, can I manage the cluster from a VM or pair of VMs within said cluster?

Thanks.

Dion

-- dion VMware Systems Admin vExpert VMUG Leader Saskatoon
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7 Replies
bggb29
Expert
Expert

I have run both physical and virtual. I did go back to virtual about 3 years ago because I was having some performance issues.

They turned out to be not related to being virtual.

Should you decide to go virtual set the vcenter server up so it does not move around via drs. That way if you do have a problem

and cannot connect to the vcenter server, You will at least know which host to login to to find the server.

There are some benefits with a virtual vcenter server. Although you do need to plan your upgrades a little more carefully.

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sebnic
Contributor
Contributor

Hi DionRow,

in my implementations (actually I'm working in a consulting Firm) ALLWAYS I put vCenter in a same Cluster it manages.

That I do is set a DRS rule that apply on vCenter VM: Automatization Level = Disabled

Remember that: even though vCenter is down, HA still run, and in fact, vCenter VM will power on in another host.And Iconfigure a resource pool to ensure that a vCenter VM always have resourrces availables to run properly.

Please forgive me for my poor english.

Best regards!

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PaulSvirin
Expert
Expert

If you run VC inside HA cluster you should always be sure that there is enough spare capacity in the cluster to handle a failure and still have enough resources for

VirtualCenter to run.

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tiagomartinez
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Dion, i think that the vCenter Server must be a physical server in production environments. Imagine if the datastore where the virtual vCenter is goes totally full and machines shutdown , obvious this is a problem that can be solved, but time spent to it and the headache are unnecessary. This is just my opinion, i don't know what the best practices says about this. Sorry for the english!

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sebnic
Contributor
Contributor

And for example if the phisical server motherboard crashes...mmmm nop.

In your supposition, u must use an reserved LUN and there put only a vCenter VM.

I think that the vCenter Server must run in a VM...if not, why we virtualized ours servers???? One reason is for HA, DRS, vMotion and STvMotion!!!!

Best regards!

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RParker
Immortal
Immortal

While I am sure you will get many responses to this, and I am notorious for still believing that SOME things should stay virtual, vCenter runs fine on a VM. Especially if you run 64-bit OS. And it's true there are MANY benefits to running vCenter as a VM as some have mentioned.

With that being said, WE run Physical host for both the DB and the vCenter (separate machines) because if you compare the 2 side by side there is a VERY notable difference. If you run the DB virtual and keep the vCenter physical, that's a slight different, make the vCenter Virtual and that's more difference.. so the combination of the two vs PURE physical is HUGE. So if you run Virtual you may notice better performance by running physical.. just don't tell anyone.. because for us the performance difference was significant.

And I have been testing with vCenter on a VM, and I have to say being able to connect to it from anywhere (despite network and software problems) is nice.. LOTS of pluses (plusses?) for running vCenter in a VM.

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Josh26
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi Dion, i think that the vCenter Server must be a physical server in production environments. Imagine if the datastore where the virtual vCenter is goes totally full and machines shutdown , obvious this is a problem that can be solved, but time spent to it and the headache are <span class="short_text">unnecessary. This is just my opinion, i don't know what the best practices says about this. Sorry for the english!

If your datastore goes down, you will lose all your VMs on it and your virtual center server is probably the least of your concerns.

Lots of people will tell you it must be a physical box, and it will usually involve the mistaken believe that vCenter has more involvement with HA than as a management interface.

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