Sunday, 18 September 2011

VMware vCenter Server Appliance First Look and Installation Walkthrough (5.0.0.3324 Build 472350)

If you do not mind the current limitations (correct as of 11th September 2011) -

No Update Manager
No Linked-Mode
No support for the VSA (vSphere Storage Appliance)
Only support for Oracle as the external database
Embedded database - DB2 -
supports 5 hosts and 50 VMs [1]
No support for vCenter Heartbeat

- and you have existing Linux administrators who can look after it; then the new VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VMware VCSA) is well worth a look.

Installation Walkthrough

1: Download from VMware →
VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-5.0.0.3324-472350_OVF10.ovf
VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-5.0.0.3324-472350-data.vmdk
VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-5.0.0.3324-472350-system.vmdk
Note: The imported appliance is a pre-configured Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 box with 8 GB RAM, 2 vCPU, 22 GB thin provisioned system disk, 60 GB thin provisioned data disk

2: vSphere Client → Deploy OVF Template
Note: This will also run in Oracle's Virtualbox via → Import Appliance...

3: Place the imported VC appliance on the correct VM Network
4: Power on
5: The VC appliance will load to a screen like in the image below:


From here → Configure Network and Set Timezone

6: via a web browser → connect to https://IPAddressOfVC:5480 and login with username = root and default password = vmware


7: Accept the EULA
8: vCenter Server → Database → select 'Database Type' = embedded and click 'Save Settings'
9: vCenter Server → Administration → change the root password
10: vCenter Server → Status → Start vCenter
11: Authentication → Active Directory → check 'Active Directory Enabled' and enter the relevant settings
12: System → Information → Reboot to apply Active Directory configuration

After reboot the vCenter Server Appliance is ready to connect to via the vSphere client and configure as normal.

Note 1) In practice, it would be possible to create a pre-built Windows VMware Virtual Center Appliance and deploy this at customer sites to get similar benefits to the quick and easy setup of VMware's SLES 11 VC Appliance.

Note 2) VMware's SLES 11 VC Appliance does not save resources over a Windows VMware vCenter. Minimum requirements for a Windows VMware vCenter Server are as follows:

ProcessorTwo 64-bit CPUs Intel or AMD x64 2.0 GHz or faster (could be one dual core - the key is two logical processors at a minimum)
Memory 4 GB RAM (RAM requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine - VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices requires 128 Mb to 1.5 GB of memory which is allocated at startup)
Disk storage 5 GB (Disk requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine)


[1] Originally I had this as 5 hosts and 50 VMs, then - after Diego's comment - it appeared that going by VMware's documentation at that time, that 100 hosts and 1000 VMs was correct, as from the official VMware vSphere 5 Documentation at http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp :
"the embedded database. This option is available only for a small inventory size, with fewer than 100 hosts and 1000 virtual machines."
After another comment I have changed back to 5 hosts and 50 VMs again after reading updated documentation (27th October 2011) from VMware  at http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp :
"The embedded database is not configured to manage an inventory that contains more than 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. If you use the embedded database with the vCenter Server Appliance, exceeding these limits can cause numerous problems, including causing vCenter Server to stop responding."

10 comments:

  1. I have seen in VMWare's documentation that the embedded database can support up to 100 hosts and 1000 vms (http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vsphere.vcenterhost.doc_50/GUID-0B9988FF-5FB6-4656-9C58-EE3617B57E90.html). Can you tell me where have you seen the 5 hosts and 50 vms limit? (Just to contrast official vmware infos).
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Diego,
    Thank you very much for your comment. I stand corrected. I had initially got the information off a vmware community thread -
    http://communities.vmware.com/thread/327010
    - I will update with the correct information.
    Cheers
    Vidad

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just to confuse anyone a little bit more, there's a note from VMWare saying the maximum allowed is 5 hosts and 50 VMs: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/microsite.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=2006816&sliceId=1&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1. I've asked for a clarification from their part.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank You sooo much for sharing this!
    However, now I'm wondering how ESXi 5.0 will work with FreeNAS NFS or iSCSI multipatched..
    did You tried?

    ReplyDelete
  5. The reference to the vCenter Server Appliance supporting up to 5 Hosts and 50 VMs for the Embedded Database max support is from the vSphere 5 Documentation "vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-50-installation-setup-guide.pdf" page 203.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Anonymous
    Thanks for the update. I originally had it as 5 host and 50 VMs, then the documentation said 100 hosts and 1000 VMs, and now back to 5 hosts and 50 VMs again. Post updated accordingly.
    Cheers
    PS And to the comment from 25 October - yes, I would be pretty confident ESXi 5.0 with work fine with FreeNAS NFS (have not personally tested) and iSCSI MPIO (tested aok.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Did You sucessfully started embedded database for this?
    I can't. Webpanel hangs after selecting "embedded".

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi TooMeeK

    Now you come to mention it, I did get the hanging Webpanel too, this was when I was first testing and had dropped the memory down to 4GB RAM. When put it back to 8GB RAM, then it ran fine for me.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agreed,since it is stated that it would need higher amount of ram (double the min requirement) if it is embedded. But you guys mentioned what happened here,so i took note of this.thanks!

      Delete
  9. correct,embedded is meant for small medium architectures which only allows for 5 hosts and 50vm

    ReplyDelete