We are going to talk about supported vCenter and PSC (Platform Services Controller) supported typologies for vSphere 6.0.
In vSphere 6.0 VMware broke out the following services from vCenter and moved them to what they called the PSC.
- Single Sign-On (SSO)
- Certificate Authority (VMCA)
The vCenter server still holds all other components such as Inventory Service & Web Service and management services.
vCenter Server with Embedded PSC
- Sufficient for most environments.
- Multiple standalone instances supported but replication is NOT.
- Supports Windows & Appliance (VCSA)
- Not best design for High Availability
vCenter Server with External PSC
- Recommended if deploying/growing to multiple vCenter Server’s that need to be linked.
- Reduces footprint by sharing a PSC across several vCenter Servers (doesn’t provide any more HA)
- Deploy more than 1 PSC to provide HA within the infrastructure.
- Windows & Appliance
Options for vCenter Server Failure Protection:
- vCenter that is embedded mode can be backed up with VDP or 3rd party backup software. There is no method to backing up an external PSC, however. To help mitigate that risk it’s recommended to have more than 1 PSC supporting a single environment. (More on that shortly).
- VMware HA can be leveraged to support vCenter.
- Fault Tolerance can be leveraged to support vCenter up to 4 vCPU’s, if licensing allows.
- Database clustering is supported with a backed SQL database (Windows vCenter only).
- vCenter (Windows) can be clustered using Microsoft Failover Services but only 1 node can be active at any given time. 2 nodes supported max.
- Windows 2008 SP2 or higher
- RDM disks are only supported, which need to be physical and they must use a separate SCSI controller with the bus sharing option set to physical. RDM’s must be independent and persistent.
- SQL Database server (external) can also be protected using Microsoft Failover Clustering
Local vCenter Server & PSC High Availability
- Protects the PSC service from a single point of failure.
- Failure of 1 PSC does NOT affect the usage of the infrastructure
- PSC’s should NOT be on the same physical host (use anti-affinity rules to separate).
- PSC’s and vCenter Servers communicate through the load balancer and replicate directly with each other (PSC to PSC), (vCenter to vCenter).
Multiple Site vCenter Server and PSC High Availability
- Each site is independent with the PSC’s replicating between sites.
- vCenter’s are aware of topology, they use their local PSC. vCenters are model between PSCs, if needed.
- Topology supports ELM or Enhanced Linked Mode which provides single point of management for all vCenters within the same SSO domain.
Multiple Site vCenter Server & PSC with High Availability Architecture
- Provides highest level of redundancy for the vCenter & PSC infrastructure.
- Multiple PSC’s & vCenters per site. PSC’s are load balanced behind a load balancer, vCenter is Clustered using MSFC.