VMware vCenter Server

VMware vCenter Server provides a centralized platform for managing VMware vSphere environments. With the new release of vSphere 6, managing vSphere becomes a whole lot easier.

vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)

The most significant change in the previous release of vSphere is the introduction of the production-ready vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). This is a lightweight, all-in-one deployment model. This version of vCenter did not require a complex Windows-based setup with four or five different services to install, or a separate MSSQL database (for large deployments).

Instead, the VCSA utilizes SUSE Linux and an embedded database to deliver vCenter in a quick and simple installation with the option of using an external Oracle database for scalability. Unfortunately, this came with several restrictions, including the inability to provide a single-pane of glass utilizing Linked Mode in vCenter. Consequently, this was not the optimal platform for service providers that needed such a configuration. With the release of vSphere 6, VMware is determined to improve upon vCenter and change the way we manage our vSphere environments.

The Good

vSphere 6 introduces some significant changes to vCenter Server and vSphere management:

  • Simplified deployment model. All services are installed as one “Platform Services Controller.” The PSC can be installed on the same server as the vCenter Server instance or it can be installed on a separate box.
  • PSCs are now designed to replicate natively between each other.
  • VCSA and traditional Windows-based deployments now have the same feature set, and are interoperable in Linked-Mode.
  • VCSA can now scale to the same size and numbers as Windows-based deployments, even with the embedded database.
  • vSphere Web Client has been optimized to perform logins up to 13x faster and menu selections/changes up to 50% faster.
  • vMotion is now supported for long-distance up to 100 ms between endpoints and includes migrating between different vCenter deployments.
  • Multi-site content library has been introduced so resources (templates, etc.) are shared between multiple different vCenter instances.

The Bad

  • VMware Update Manager is still a separate installation that requires a Windows server to utilize its functionality.
  • This is the last iteration of vSphere that will include the desktop-based vSphere Client.
  • Desktop client has read-only access to Hardware Version 10 and 11 new features (but can manage them).

What This Means for Us

The changes made with vSphere 6 and vCenter Server offer a more scalable vSphere management solution. Previous generations required special services such as vCenter Server Heartbeat to provide a highly-available management system. With the simplification of deployment, native replication, and the ability to use Linked-mode between VCSA and traditional vCenter Server instances, we will be able to offer a more robust and centralized management platform for VMware while keeping a high level of efficiency and scale. This increased efficiency and scale translate directly to improved system performance and availability.


If you’re interested in learning how we’re working with the new capabilities in this release, please let us know.

More information about the changes to vSphere 6 can be found here:

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