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Vmware Vcenter, on which servers to install ?

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Greetings,

I have Vmware essential. I want to install Vcenter Server for managing my vmware host (two hosts). But I don't know where should I install the vcenter server.

There are my options;

I have the following server
1 virtualized Windows 2008 32bits Domain controller, file server. (4gb ram)
1 virtualized Windows 2008 R2 Exchange server (8gb ram)
1 virtualized Windows 2008 R2 Terminal server (8gb ram)
1 virtualized Windows 2008 R2 for access card and security camera but on a branch office (I would prefer not to install vcenter on a remote office)

I wished to install the vcenter on my windows 2008 domain controller.. but I can't since it's 32 bits.

What would be the better choice ? Exchange server or TS ?

Also, I have Eopen licence for my Windows 2008... could I use the same serial number two times ? so like that I could configure another windows 2008 R2 excusively for vcenter and other minor things like that ?

I don't want to have to buy another windows Licence..

Thank you.
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Question by:tblinc
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21 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:smangogna
ID: 35027184
The best solution  is to install Vcenter on a Phisical Server, I suggest TS, instead of Exchange.
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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 35027233
It's not supported on a Domain controller so that takes one server out of the mix


According to VMWare you can put this on a 64 bit Windows XP machine.  I would avoid Exchange or TS as it uses Java and that may eat up a lot of memory thus starving the user sessions on a TS Server.  

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=ex&bbid=TSEBB_1295976613308&url=&stateId=0 0 163435876&dialogID=163437182&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=1022104&sliceId=1&rfId=
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35027241
I don't have other physical server.
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35027323
You will need a 64bit operating system for vCenter.  If you are going to have to purchase a new OS, look at Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.  It is my understanding that with the Datacenter licensing, you can install as many server instances per virtual host per license.  So if you have 2 hosts, buy 2 data center licenses and you can install on both hosts as many instances as necessary.  If you need a short term cheaper fix, then purchase a copy of XP 64 and install in a VM.  Just make sure you give it enough system requirements to do the job.  You will love vCenter.  It will make your VMware administration much easier!
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35027343
I don't want to spend money on datacenter.. it's very expensive and we are a smb.

Do you know if vcenter will fit into a Windows 7 Pro 64bits ?
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paulsolov earned 250 total points
ID: 35027385
vCenter doesn't take much room, I would put in 6GB RAM just in case.  60GB is usually plenty if you're doing it with SQL Express.  If you put it on a 150GB drive you'll have plenty of space.

Not sure about Windows 7, not sure if it's supported but worth a try, I don't see why not.  Otherwise find a valid XP 64 bit licenses for $100 box and give it a go.
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35027406
Doesn't look like it:

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_compatibility_matrix.pdf

Still only support XP 64...
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by:lloydclinton
ID: 35027421
You can also check out the Linux vCenter beta and see how that is progressing.  The last time I checked it out (about a year ago), there were some things they were still working on.... I may go check it out and see if it is ready to run in a production environment..
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by:ChrisKranz
ID: 35031464
I would install vCenter as a virtual machine. It'll cost you an extra Windows license (no, you can't use the same key twice), but it'll be a much more scalable solution. VMware recommend vCenter is virtualised actually.

From licensing, it depends on your Windows license, if it's Enterprise, then you can install a copy more copies I believe (4 in total), but I'd check with your licensing guys to see what you can do in a virtualised environment.
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by:smangogna
ID: 35034143
VMware recommends that you install vCenter Server on a dedicated server


http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_esxi_i_get_start.pdf
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35036519
The vCenter Server system is a physical machine or virtual machine with access to a supported database.
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35036529
ok i just saw
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Expert Comment

by:ChrisKranz
ID: 35036607
Regardless of physical or virtual, the recommendation is that it should be dedicated. VMware now recommend having this virtualised, but I haven't got to hand the docs to support this.
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35036629
How it could be dedicated when it's virtualized ?
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35036639
Does this mean it can be installed in the host but need the virtualized OS to be dedicated to the vcenter ?
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by:ChrisKranz
ID: 35036689
Yes, sorry. Dedicated as in the operating system does not share with any other application. So virtualised or physical, you wouldn't use the vCenter server for anything else (Exchange or domain controller for example). This system (virtual or physical) would be dedicated just to vCenter.
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Expert Comment

by:ChrisKranz
ID: 35036704
I should add, if you virtualise vCenter (recommended), then you can have other virtual machines on the same physical host. vCenter is just a single virtual machine just running vCenter within the OS. Other VMs can (and should) exist on this host and share the physical resources.

Hope this helps.
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Assisted Solution

by:smangogna
smangogna earned 250 total points
ID: 35038381
VMware recommends that you install vCenter Server on a dedicated server
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_esxi_i_get_start.pdf
Takes 5 minutes to read the document.
But you can install Vcenter in a VM, depends on how big is your Farm, so If you don't have a Phisical Server and can't buy a new licence you don't give lot of choise, try to install on TS instead of Exchange, not recomanded but....
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Expert Comment

by:deeshcp
ID: 35154163
I am suggesing you to install on TS also vcenter require database server. So you need one database server (SQL) else you can install venter with inbuild database application on Terminal server.
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Author Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35280132
I installed my vcenter on a standalone windows xp 64bits system.

thanks for your answer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tblinc
ID: 35280150
thanks
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