vCenter Server

Posted on 2009-07-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
What HP computer would you reccommend for vCenter Server ?

It will be managing 2 Vhost runing 8 Vmachines.

Question by:aucklandnz
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Expert Comment

ID: 24855428
You can use anything that runs Windows 2003/2008 decently.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 24855450
You can just create a vm for vCenter Server, just ensure the DB is backup regularly
This is normal setup even for enterprise environment
You dont really need a super fast machine for VC server

Author Comment

ID: 24855467
i just found this (page 16 min requirements)

2CPU, 3GB of RAM etc
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Expert Comment

ID: 24855543
yes it is, what are you implying? your esx host cannot allocate the required resources?
then you should get a dedicated host instead
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 24856296
If you're looking at HP I would go with a DL360 G5/G6 with 6GB RAM and Windows x64 OS.  If you don't have a dedicated SQL Server you can use SQL 2005 Express instance.  3 72GB SFF drives should suffice. A dual core should suffice you could always another in the future if needed, with your configruation I would doubt it.

A more affordable option is a DL320 G5, it uses unbuffered memroy and is somewhat more affordable.  It usually comes with 2 160GB SATA drives and you can put in up to 8GB RAM.

The nice thing about using a x64 OS is that you can then have the capability to integrate other apps if needed  on the same box such as vmware backup software, etc.. items that need to integrate with vCenter.

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24857712
The VC server does not to be a high end server, if you're using SQL on it (do not use the express edition, it has a limit of 4 GB database, it could space out. For a small environment it can be used -costs-) you need a bigger machine to run sql.
If you want to run more applications on it (reporting against your database, or more reporting tools), you should also have a bigger machine.
My advice would be to take a virtual with VC on it. Start with 1vcpu and 2-3 GB mem, you can always scale up.

Author Comment

ID: 24864879
Does Vcenter have to be installed on Win2003 /08 ?
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24866701
You can use a 32bit windows 2003 or 2008 host. If you are managing a lot of hosts (200) vmware recommends a 64 bit os

Accepted Solution

yuhannl earned 250 total points
ID: 25123142

If you are only managing 2 vhosts + 8 virtual machines, you really don't need anything overly powerful.
We have a vCenter that's managing well over 30+ vhosts with a substantial amount of virtual machines spreading across the very large region ('000s of KMs)

One suggestion is to run vCenter as a virtual machine, which happens to be one of the recommended ways by VMware (unless if they have changed their stance).

When you setup your ESX hosts, you should set the first virtual machine up as vCenter. It should run on Win2003 R2 or above. You don't really need 64bit, but that depends on your fleet management strategy - i.e. do you want to standardise on the operating system.

You can really just have SQL running on the same server as vCenter, or you can have it running on separate virtual machines (think about the amount of data it is really managing - not much!). However, make sure its running a proper SQL server rather than SQL Express (which is not supported by VMware in a production environment).

So the recommendation is to
- ensure the ESX hosts have plenty of grunt, always over-spec rather than under-spec
- setup necessary infrastructure to allow for vSphere (or ESX cluster) functionality such as VMotion, HA, etc.,
- setup vCenter on the ESX host
- use vCenter to create the ESX cluster
- setup necessary redundancy features (as mentioned above)
- verify VMotion / HA works
- Continue deploying vertual servers or migrate physical servesr onto the ESX environment (P2V)


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