[Okta Webinar] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
?
Solved

vCenter 5.1 U3 - physical server or virtual machine?

Posted on 2014-02-12
8
Medium Priority
?
992 Views
Last Modified: 2014-02-12
Hi Experts,

I'm adding a new vCenter server (5.1 U3) and I'm hesitating whether to install it on a physical server or on a virtual machine.

My main concern with installing it as a virtual machine is - how will I connect to vCenter if both ESX hosts are down?
Yes, we have only two hosts and every now and then the whole server room needs to be shut down.

It's not an issue when I have vCenter on a physical server - I can power it up manually and start ESX hosts from there.
How will I do it when vCenter is on virtual machine and all the hosts are down? I know you can connect to ESX hosts via HTTP(s) skipping vCenter, but in my experience with ESX 4.0 this option was sometimes patchy in our environment.

That's probably very easy, but I wanted to run the options through you.

Let me know what you think.
Thanks!
0
Comment
Question by:itorana
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
8 Comments
 
LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1332 total points
ID: 39854821
VMware now recommends you install vCenter Server for Windows, on a virtual server!

But physical is still supported.

vCenter Server is just a management server, it does not have to be up, to start your ESXi hosts.

We do the following....

1. Start ESXi host A
2. Start ESXi host B
3. Connect to the Host - hosting vCenter Server, connected to the host directly using vSphere Client, and Start vCenter Server, once started, shutdown vSphere Client.
4. Connect to vSphere vCenter Server.

Advantages.

It's virtual, easily backup, easy restore, and will move around the cluster, if you have DRS, vMotion, and will restart if you have VMware HA,
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:bluedan
ID: 39854822
Deploy vCenter as virtual machine has many advantages vs physical machine. It might be an other option for you to think about it.  I would recommend deploy vCenter as virtual machine. Below are some good info.

Running vCenter Server in a virtual machine
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=10087

vCenter: Physical or Virtual?
http://michael.requeny.com/2011/07/01/vcenter-physical-virtual-high-availability-clustered/

Hope above info helps.
0
 

Author Comment

by:itorana
ID: 39854830
Hi bluedan, Andrew,

Thank you for quick replies and all the links!

I've noticed that VMware recommends VM and I saw comparisons of physical vs virtual deployments. I'm all for virtual except for one thing that I didn't find answer to:

how will I connect to vCenter if all ESX hosts are down?
(yes, I know that ESX should automatically start up guest OSes when it comes back online, so I may not have to connect to vCenter to power up guest OSes)
0
Fill in the form and get your FREE NFR key NOW!

Veeam is happy to provide a FREE NFR server license to certified engineers, trainers, and bloggers.  It allows for the non‑production use of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. This license is valid for five workstations and two servers.

 
LVL 124
ID: 39854837
If all the Hosts are DOWN, you CANNOT connect to vCenter!

You will need to start your Hosts first before you can start vCenter Server!

but if all your hosts are down, how does vCenter on a physical server help you?

vCenter server does not start your hosts!
0
 

Author Comment

by:itorana
ID: 39854849
Hi Andrew,

That was very quick :)
Sorry, I might have been unclear.

I can manually power up ESX server and then use vCenter (physical) to power up individual guests on the ESX.

Now, with vCenter as a VM - how would I power up guest OSes on ESX when the OS with vCenter itself is down?

Does it make more sense?
0
 
LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1332 total points
ID: 39854858
Connect Directly to the ESXi servers using the vSphere Client, the same client you use to connect to vCenter Server!

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client


if you want to power-up all your VMs there you can, but we do the following:-

Just power-Up vCenter Server FIRST!!!!!!

I listed the procedure we use in http:#a39854821  !!!
0
 
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
bluedan earned 668 total points
ID: 39854997
Key benefit of running vCenter as VM is that the vCenter will be protected by VMware features like HA, vmotion ...etc.  

If only one ESXi host goes down, and you have HA enabled, the vCenter will be auto brought up on to other ESXi host within few minutes.  

If vCenter server is a phyical server, and it goes down. It might take hours or day depends on the hardware issue to bring the vCenter back up.

Hope above info helps.
0
 

Author Comment

by:itorana
ID: 39855007
OK, that's all very clear guys - thanks a lot, going with VM!
0

Featured Post

What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

The following article is comprised of the pearls we have garnered deploying virtualization solutions since Virtual Server 2005 and subsequent 2008 RTM+ Hyper-V in standalone and clustered environments.
If we need to check who deleted a Virtual Machine from our vCenter. Looking this task in logs can be painful and spend lot of time, so the best way to check this is in the vCenter DB. Just connect to vCenter DB(default DB should be VCDB and using…
Teach the user how to edit .vmx files to add advanced configuration options Open vSphere Web Client: Edit Settings for a VM: Choose VM Options -> Advanced: Add Configuration Parameters:
Video by: ITPro.TV
In this episode Don builds upon the troubleshooting techniques by demonstrating how to properly monitor a vSphere deployment to detect problems before they occur. He begins the show using tools found within the vSphere suite as ends the show demonst…
Suggested Courses

872 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question