Learning vSphere 6.5-Part-3-vCenter Server and PSC Deployment Types

In last post of this series we had an overview of VCSA and touched a little bit on what are the new features that are included in VCSA v6.5.

In this post we will discuss about available deployment models for vcenter Server and VCSA.

If you have missed earlier post of this series, you can read them from here:

1: Installing and Configuring Esxi

2: VCSA Overview

Windows based vCenter Server or VCSA can be deployed either with an embedded PSC or an external PSC. You can also deploy a PSC as an appliance or install it on Windows. Depending on your infrastructure needs, it can be mix and match of both.

Before proceeding with installation of vCenter Server Appliance or vCenter Server for Windows, you must determine the deployment model that is suitable for your environment. The deployment types can be categorised in mainly 3 categories:


vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

This is a standalone deployment type that has its own vCenter Single Sign-On domain with a single site. vCenter Server with an embedded PSC is suitable for small environments. Other vCenter Server or PSC instances could not be joined to this vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

vCenter Server with an embedded PSC offers following advantages:

  1. The connection between vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller is not over the network, and vCenter Server is not prone to outages caused by connectivity and name resolution issues between vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller.
  2. If you install vCenter Server on Windows virtual machines or physical servers, you need fewer Windows licenses.
  3. You manage fewer virtual machines or physical servers.

Installing vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller is a recommended solution for small-scale environments.

You can configure the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded PSC in vCenter High Availability configuration.

Note: A vcenter Server deployed with an embedded PSC can be reconfigured later to change the deployment type to vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller. I will cover this part later.

vCenter Server with an External Platform Services Controller

When you deploy or install a Platform Services Controller instance, you can create a vCenter Single Sign-On domain or join an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain. Joined PSC instances replicate their infrastructure data, such as authentication and licensing information, and can span multiple vCenter Single Sign-On sites.

Multiple vCenter Servers can be registered to one external PSC instance. The vCenter Server instances assume the vCenter Single Sign-On site of the Platform Services Controller instance with which they are registered. All vCenter Server instances that are registered with one common or different joined Platform Services Controller instances which are connected in Enhanced Linked Mode.

Below image shows 2 vCenter Server registered to a common External PSC


Graphic Thanks to VMware.com

Mixed Operating Systems Environment

In a mixed OS environment you can have:

  • A vCenter Server instance installed on Windows can be registered with either a PSC installed on Windows or a PSC appliance.
  • A vCenter Server Appliance can be registered with either a PSC installed on Windows or a PSC appliance.
  • Both vCenter Server and the vCenter Server Appliance can be registered with the same Platform Services Controller.

Below image shows mixed OS environment With an External PSC on Windows


Example of a mixed OS environment with an external PSC Appliance


Thats it for this post. Now we have an idea about available deployment models for vCenter Server/PSC deployment, we will try to explore them in coming posts of this series.

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