As you may already know, Dell EMC’s VxRail gives you the flexibility to either deploy a new Embedded vCenter Appliance or to join an external existing vCenter Appliance. But what are the advantages and drawbacks of each option that we should consider before choosing?
Below is a summary of the main advantages and disadvantages of each vCenter Server appliance deployment:
Embedded vCenter Server deployment
In this option, you will be deploying the vCenter Appliance (VCSA), the Platform Services Controller (PSC) and the vRealize Log Insight (optional) virtual machines automatically from the pre-loaded bundles on your VxRail nodes. All you need to do is provide the configuration details in the VxRail initialization wizard.
- The vCenter Server Appliance deployment is automated by the VxRail initialization wizard.
- vCenter and PSC upgrades are included and executed when installing a software upgrade package for your VxRail setup.
- The vCenter license is bundled with the VxRail Appliance.
- VMware Log Insight is deployed automatically.
- Prior to vCenter Server 7.0, the only supported vCenter topology is a single VCSA with an external PSC. As of vCenter 7.0, the external PSC is deprecated and replaced with an embedded PSC.
- The vCenter Server only manages the VxRail cluster which it is deployed on.
- It cannot manage other ESXi hosts or any other VxRail clusters.
- Single Sign-On domain must be vsphere.local and cannot be customize.
- It doesn’t support Enhanced linked mode.
- vSAN Encryption is not supported.
External vCenter Server deployment
On the other hand, the VxRail appliance can join an External vCenter Server environment during the initialization that is hosted outside the VxRail cluster. This is usually referred to as a customer-supplied vCenter Server. If this option is preferred the customer needs to provide the required vCenter license.
- vSAN Encryption is supported.
- Using Custom SSO domain names is supported.
- Supplied vCenter Server can manage multiple VxRail clusters and other ESXi hosts.
- Enhanced linked mode is supported
- VMware vSAN Stretched clusters are supported.
- All vCenter Server deployment topologies are supported.
- vCenter Server HA is supported.
- We will need to provide the license for the vCenter Server.
- Both vCenter Server and PSC (if exists) cannot be hosted on the VxRail Appliance cluster.
- vCenter Server and PSC (if exists) upgrades are the responsibility of the customer and will not be included in the VxRail software update bundles.
- Log Insight will not be deployed, it has to be done manually.
- Only one public IP address can be used for the vCenter HA network.
- Modifying the hostnames and IP addresses for vCenter Server and PSC after the VxRail deployment is not possible.
You can always refer to Dell EMC’s official vCenter Server Planning Guide for more details on vCenter deployment options and topologies on VxRail.