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vcenter appliance - is it a VM

Posted on 2014-02-06
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is the vcenter appliance typically a virtual server of its own, or is the "appliance" installed on top of say a windows server, as you would other server software like sql server?
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Question by:pma111
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Alex Green earned 668 total points
ID: 39839224
You normally download it as an OVF file and use the deployment tool within V-Center to distribute it to the farm.

Linky

http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.install.doc_50%2FGUID-25FCBA87-5D2F-4CB6-85D7-88899B4AC174.html
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by:Abhilash
Abhilash earned 668 total points
ID: 39839246
It is a fully installed and packed appliance with vCenter server built on a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server(SLES).
If you are curious to know how it is done. It is created using VMware studio.
This appliance saves the time of building a windows VM, taking care of the pre-requisites and installing the vCenter. And also saves a license cost.
It comes with a built in DB which can support upto 100 hosts and 3000 VM's(in version 5.5)
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by:pma111
ID: 39839274
i was wondering from a backup angle, would you need to backup the appliance itself, or if it resides on another server, would backing up the server it resides on suffice?
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39839303
Like how you backup the DB for a windows server you can backup the vPostgres DB for Appliance as all the data resides there

There are two KB Articles in VMware for that
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2034505

This is to backup the inventory service DB
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2062682

You can also take a full VM level backup too.
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by:pma111
ID: 39839313
will a full VM level backup cover the DB as well? Is it really only the DB you need to backup for the appliance?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 664 total points
ID: 39839337
It's a VM or an Appliance.

Yes, if you backup the entire Appliance/VM this will include the DB!
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39839348
Yes Full VM will cover the DB if you are going with the Embedded the DB.
Yes all the inventory and configuration details of vCenter is stored in its DB. If something goes wrong you can always reinstall the vCenter and direct it back to the old DB. Same case with windows vCenter too.
also take a Backup of Inventory service DB.
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by:pma111
ID: 39839349
is an "appliance" a completely seperate entity to another VM? i.e. you dont install this "appliance" on another VM, just like you would server software?
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by:Abhilash
ID: 39839362
A virtual appliance is a pre-built software solution, comprising one or more virtual machines that are 
packaged, managed, updated, and maintained as a unit. Customers can easily install and deploy these 
pre-integrated solution stacks. Virtual appliances speed up time-to-value and simplify software development, 
distribution, and management.
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LVL 124
ID: 39839366
The appliance is a "posh" word for a Virtual Machine, which has an Application installed!

It's installed on a Host Server.
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