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vCentre Server 5.1 - appliance?

Ok, so we have the following in place:

2x hosts with local storage using acrnois appliances for backups and replications of our VM's to the other host.    - pointed out by hancocka, a cheap HA.

We have a virtualised vcentre server v5.0 on Host2 not doing anything as we use the acronis browser/appliance to manage the VMs recovery, backups etc.. .  
We use the vsphere client to manage basic VM taks if required.  Downside to this is that its very limited compared to vcentre.

I see (i think) that there is now an appliance for vcentre v5.1, correct?  
If this is the case what would be the preferred way of utilising the vcentre v5.1 to manage the VM's and also integrate acronis?  Remember should we lose a host with vcenter on then we are stuffed.
I'd also like to not install it on a physical server....
Can we install 2x vcentre appliance servers on each of our hosts (for resilience should one fail)?

Thanks
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CHI-LTD
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CHI-LTD
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4 Solutions
 
MPJHornerCommented:
You need a single VCentre appliance, you would enable High availability so that if a host does down it is available via the other.
For the above you would need shared storage such as SAN, iSCSI NAS or VSA.
You are correct in thinking their is a an appliance available.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
I assume this is a 'ideally' scenario, not all systems use shared storage.

So in order for us to me able to truly manage our hosts in the event one failed then the vcentre server must be installed on a separate server i.e.. physical?
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MPJHornerCommented:
Well yes, but if that one fails you will have a problem managing it.
As above you need shared storage, have you looked at VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) from VMware it turns the local storage on your servers to Shared Storage.

At the end of the day if you are trying to achieve redundancy/High Availability you are going to need Vcentre and are going to need some sort of Shared Storage.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
Yes we looked at that and it eats storage and seemed very expensive for what it is.
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MPJHornerCommented:
Indeed, but if you want redudancy/High Availability it is going to require an investment of some sort. If you already have the servers VSA is cheaper, from scratch (unless tiny amount of storage required) a low end SAN is going to be the best option.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
Do you foresee everyone having to use vcentre in some way as opposed to us using vsphere client with 3rd party backup appliance?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
there's been an appliance for vCenter since version 5.0!

You can only use a single vCenter Server, and if vCenter server breaks all that stops working is DRS (vMotion).

HA still functions, vCenter is used to configure HA not operate it!

Do you have VMware HA?

Do you have shared storage?
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MPJHornerCommented:
It depends.
If you have invested time & money into virtualization you are only going to see some of the benefits of VMware without Vcentre.

Also some backup appliances require vcentre (such as Veeam).

It is your call and depends on what you want from your system, you need to ask yourself whether you want/need vcenter?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
No HAS
No storage
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
vCenter is only going to look "pretty" it might make some tasks easier, deployment of templates, easier management of two servers, rather than connecting to two different servers.

I personally think expensive for those options, and money would be better invested in some form of shared storage.

e.g. HP P2000 iSCSI SAN, which did have 50% cashback offer!

what VMware vSphere License are you using?

because for $500 you get a vSphere vCenter License, with your hosts licenses?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
this is why we went this route.  half the price of SAN and vmware standard for example. This meets the business recovery time requirements.  however i bet this would change in the event that a VM or host did go offline over a weekend say

using essentials.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
okay, so you have vCenter Server to implement, so you might as well!

larger budget decreases recovery time!

or if you had Essentials Plus, and a SAN/NAS, if a host failed, VMware HA would restart all VMs on the other hosts.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
but need 3x hosts really?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
depends how many are going to fail!
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
maybe im thinking of VSA, stormagic...
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