Why is vCenter Server on its own server?

Hi, so this probably has an obvious answer, but given that I am still learning VMWare, and network administration in general, it isn't apparent to me.

I am setting up some virtual servers with Workstation 10 to practice on a vSphere environment. The topology I am going off of has the following:

2x ESXi Hosts

1x Microsoft Server with vClient

1x NAS

1x vCenter Server

I don't understand why vCenter Server has to be on its own server. Couldn't it be omitted and software like vClient just be used to maintain the data center? In other words, vCenter Server acts as an intermediary between the ESXi hosts and the vClient. But why not have the vClient and ESXi hosts communicate directly with MS Server with vClient essentially replacing the vCenter Server?

I guess one answer is just that that is how it was designed, but I am sure there is a rational reason.

Thanks in advance for the input and clarification!

Smiley Happy

1 Reply

Welcome to the Community,

you can indeed maintain the ESXi hosts directly using the vSphere Client, i.e. without vCenter Server in place. However, in this case you will not have the advanced features like HA, vMotion/DRS, FT, ... vCenter Server provides. vCenter Server also acts as the managing instance, to which other products connect (e.g. VMware View, Operations Manager, backup applications and many more). Without vCenter Server in place each of these applications would need to connect to each host individually. There are a lot more benefits vCenter Server provides as you will find out once you setup the environment.