vCenter gives us the ability to manage several ESXi hosts. (Centralized Management of ESXi hosts)
vCenter server is accessible via the Web interface and gives us the information about the ESXi hosts.
vCenter server components:
Platform Controller: Includes the following components
– Single Sign-on: we can logon to the vCenter once and don’t have to logon to the ESXi hosts separately.
– License server
– Vmware Certification Authority
Note: The platform controller can be embedded into the vCenter server or can be installed on a separate vCenter server. (In large environments the platform controller is installed separately and other vCenter servers connect to this platform controller for managing licenses, certifications and sign-on purposes.
Other components of vCenter Server:
– Inventory service
– Web client
– Dump collection
– Syslog collection
– Auto Deploy
– Syslog service
Different types of vCenter installation:
Install as vCSA (vCenter Server Appliance)
Install vCenter server on Windows server
Installation of vCSA: (vCenter Server Appliance)
Download the vCSA from the www.Vmware.com website
Install and configure a domain with a fully functional DNS (Forward lookup zone and Reverse lookup zone) (e.g. ITperfection.local)
Configure the ESXi host(s) to use the internal DNS server.
Configure A record and PTR record appropriately: for example: ESXi1.ITperfection.local -> 192.168.99.130
From the installation CD, run the Client Integration Plugin
Then run the vcsa-setup.html
Note: The best option is to install the ESXi host on a physical machine because in case of the reboot of the ESXi servers the vCenter server becomes inaccessible.
Note: The vCenter Server SSO domain is different from the Active Directory domain. Make sure that the SSO Domain Name that you choose, is different from the Active Directory domain.
Note: After the installation of the vSphere is complete; we can access the webpage by http://vcsa.ITperfection.local/vSphere-client as administrator@SSOdomainname
vCenter management containers:
Note: vCenter does not recognize the VMware ESXi servers by default. The ESXi servers need to be added to the vCenter server. After the Hosts are being recognized by the vCSA; the VMs, Datastores and all other information related to the ESXi servers will be demonstrated in the vCenter server.
How to organize the ESXi hosts in the vCenter server?
The best recommended way to add the servers to vCenter is to create a hierarchical structure of FOLDER -> DATACENTER -> CLUSTER -> HOST
During the addition of the ESXi hosts to the vCenter server; there will be an option to choose the lockdown mode of the server. Lockdown mode can be configured later after this wizard is complete.