Monday 2 May 2016

Back To Basics - Part 3 vCenter Server

In our couple of blog post related to Back to Basics Series we discussed about Virtual Machine Files (Part1) Standard Switches (Part2) and also discussed about the various tasks related to building Home Lab Part1, Part 2, Part 3,Part 4 and Part 5.

Above are the highlighted links for the same which i would suggest you to refer for a better understanding.

In this post we will be talking about vCenter Server and will understand the various services related to vCenter Server in vSphere 6

Yes will be talking about the two different nodes in VMware vSphere 6 (Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server) and will look at the various services running in those nodes.

  • vCenter Server act as a Centralized Management Solution which help us to manage ESXi hosts and there associated Virtual Machine.
  • Can be installed on a Windows Machine and can be deployed as an Appliance. (Preconfigured Virtual Machine running with SLES).
  • vCenter Server Provides Advance features like HA, DRS,FT,vMotion,SvMotion.
Architectural Components
  • vCenter Single Sign On - Authentication Engine can be configured to work with different identity sources (AD, AD Over LDAP, LDAP). Administrator is the default user which is created when SSO is successfully installed. vSphere local is the default domain which can be changed during the installation.
  • vCenter Server Database - Stores security roles, performance data, both embedded and external database can be used. Embedded (Postgress SQL) External (SQL and Oracle).
  • Web Client and vSphere Client - vSphere Client can be used to connect to ESXi hosts directly or to vCenter server and Web Client can be used to connect to vCenter Server not directly to ESXi hosts.
Now let's talk about the two different nodes which we pointed during the initial phase of the this blog post.

When it comes to the installation both the PSC and the vCenter can be installed on the same machine or it can be installed separately depending upon the design requirements.

During the installation phase there are two nodes which are installed one is Platform Services Controller and the other is vCenter Server and each one of them have their own internal services which are running as described below.

Platform Services Controller
  • vCenter SSO - Authentication broker and security token exchange infrastructure.
  • VMware License Server - Provides Centralized License management for various vSphere products and also the products that integrate with vSphere
  • Look Up Service - The Lookup Service enables different components of vSphere to find one another in a secure way.
  • VMware Certificate Authority - Issues certificates for VMware solution users, machine certificates for machines on which services are running, and ESXi host certificates.
  • Certificate Store - Repository for storing the certificates.
  • VMware Directory Services - Handles SAML certificate management for authentication in conjunction with vCenter Single Sign-On.

vCenter Server
  • VMware vSphere Auto Deploy - Support tool which can help to provisioned multiple Physical hosts with ESXi software. For a better understanding refer one of the old post i dedicated related to the same Auto Deploy 
  • VMware vSphere ESXi Dump CollectorESXi can be configured to dump the VMkernel memory to a network server, rather than to a disk, when the system has encountered a critical failure. The VMware vSphere ESXi Dump Collector is used to collects such memory dumps over the network.
  • VMware vSphere Syslog Collector - Can Be used to enable ESXi system logs to be directed to the server over the network, rather than on a Local Disk.
  • Inventory Service - Inventory Service stores vCenter Server application and inventory data, which helps us to search and access inventory objects across linked vCenter Server instances.
  •  vSphere Web Client (Server) - Helps to connect to vCenter Server using a web browser.

For More Information Refer VMware vSphere 6 Documentation Center

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