vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) has always gotten stronger and more awesome with every release of vSphere.
This improvement eliminates the need to deploy/install a windows based vCenter Server unless there is a specific need to do so.
Now with the announcement of vSphere 6.0, vCSA has become Uber Awesome.
So what makes it so awesome?
Starting from version 6.0 you can manage up to 1000 hosts and 10,000 VMs using the vCSA and its embedded database. Yes you read it right.
When vCSA 5.5 was released, the scalability could go up to 100 hosts and 3000 virtual machines with the embedded DB but that number has gone way higher now.
When you deploy the vCSA, you will have several options of differernt sizes of the appliance to choose from, depending on your environment.
The sizes that are offered are Tiny, Small, Medium and large.
- Embedded-Tiny would be a VM configured with 2 vCPUs and 8 GB of memory. This can manage up to 20 Hosts and 400 VMs.
- Embedded-Small would be a VM configured with 4 vCPUs and 16 GB of memory. This can manage up to 150 Hosts and 3,000 VMs.
- Embedded-Medium would be a VM configured with 8 vCPUs and 24 GB of memory. This can manage up to 300 Hosts and 6,000 VMs.
- Embedded-Large would be a VM configured with 16 vCPUs and 32 GB of memory. This can manage up to 1000 Hosts and 10,000 VMs.
Apart from these server configurations, one can even choose to go with an external DB(Oracle) and that will also scale depending on the configuration.
That said, why would someone go for a windows vCenter server?
Because it gives them the ability to split the roles of vCenter services across different VMs in a large environment.
vCSA allows that configuration too. You can have a separate appliance for infrastructure controller and vCSA. This makes sure you have scalability in the number of infrastructure nodes it manages too.
As soon as you install ESXi 6.0 and login into it using the Host client, it will give you an option to deploy the vCSA.
Isn’t that simple and better compared to bringing up a windows VM just to install vCenter? And actually going through the process of installing the vCenter?
vCSA will be on par with the Windows version and will include key features such as Cross-vCenter vMotion, Long Distance vMotion, Content Library, Virtual Datacenters, SMP-FT etc.
It will save you a windows license and will also help you scale up to your future growth.
Do think about it and ponder over the need for a Windows based vCenter from 6.0. I can confidently say you wouldn’t :)