Creating an vSphere infrastructure in a .local domain environment

Hi there Experts,

Currently I have a vSphere 6 Essentials Plus infrastructure and about 15 clients joined in

Using the same network ip subnet and hardware (switch, internet line) I would like to create an
additional and independent  vSphere 6 Essentials infrastructure consisting of 2 Servers
(5 of 15 above clients should have mapped drives connected from those 2 Servers).

ESXi Server 1 will have one Win2012R2 VM and vCenter (VCSA)
ESXi Server 2 will have a replica of the VM of ESXi Server 1

To the best of my knowledge vCenter installation prerequisite is an existing domain
(otherwise the installation fails right?)

Q1) Would be wise to create first a .local domain controller on Server 1 and then deploy the VCSA on Server 1?
Q2) A .local domain will work correctly as a DNS server and have access to the internet?
Q3) Is there any other recommended deploy method given that this additional vSphere infrastructure
should be totally independent from the existing one?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
vCenter Server does not require and Active Directory Domain.

Q1. Does not require a domain, the hosts, of FQDN, they just host VMs.

Q2. You will need to make changes for it to refer to the internet.

Q3. Different IP Addresses ? but could be on the same network.
0.  You can have multiple vCenter instances in the same domain.  You can create a separate domain if you like, of course.

1.  You can absolutely install an ESXi stand-alone instance, create a domain controller guest on it, and then create a vCenter guest that uses that domain controller for authentication.  You then just configure vCenter to manage the ESXi host.  On the other hand, workgroup (non-active directory) deployments work just fine.  

2.  Yes, as long as the normal steps are taken.  (Configuring forwarders, setting timeout, making sure root hints are up to date, making sure the machine can route traffic to the Internet and that no firewall is blocking the DNS traffic.)

3.  Depends on your requirements.  When you say "totally independent" then I start wondering about things like whether they need to be separate VLANs and subnets, whether they need to be air gapped or firewalled, whether they will share other underlying infrastructure, etc.  Some places even want to have separate power backups and air handling.  Logically, they will be independent.  Changes on cluster A will not affect cluster B and vice-versa.  Changes on vCenter A will not affect vCenter B.  Etc.
mamelasAuthor Commented:
thank you both for your indetail answers!

In my case this vsphere infrastructure I would like to be
independent at networking configuration/domain level.
(it will use same ups equipment, firewall and switch equipment, internet line and server room)

Regarding your above posts,

I remember that the vCenter of my current infrastructure was failing to install
because it was requiring a FQDN entry.So do I need at least a DNS server to exist
in my ESXi Server prior to vCenter installation?

I also understand that I could have the following otpions for this independent Infrastructure:
- either under .local domain or under workgroup
- either under my existing ip subnet that my current infrastructure already resides
or create a separate VLAN

Do you recommend to use a .local domain or workgroup?
Do you recommend to create a VLAN or it would be wiser to
keep it simple using my current subnet?
Do I have any other design option available?
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Yes the install doc does state that an FQDN must be resolvable but you could update the local host file and it would probably work as well..
mamelasAuthor Commented:
Dear compdigit44, thank you for your comment.

Dear Contributors,

Given that I do not want to create another instance of vSphere under the same
domain could you please advise the recommended design option as per
your opinion?

-should I create a .local domain or use the workgroup?
-should I create a VLAN or use my current subnet?
-Do I have any better option in design perspective?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Just use a workgroup, keep it simple, do not use VLANS, and just use a different private IP Address range. The will co exist on the same wire, with no issues.

You will also need double the licenses to do this, so make sure you have 2 x licenses for everything.

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I agree with using a workgroup.  I disagree with having a second IP subnet sharing a VLAN with another IP subnet.  It's against best/common practice for networking.  Either decide that using the same subnet is acceptable, or set up a new VLAN with a new IP subnet.
mamelasAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your professional answers!
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