There is just no reason not to go with appliance. No malware, no Windows patches and no weird Windows server compatibility bugs.
No malware? No patches? No weird compatability bugs? These are, well, courageous claims...
Up until relatively recently, VMware’s vCenter was a Windows-only affair. With version 5 came the VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) based on a hardened Linux installation. It essentially left behind the legacy issues around management and patching (and all manner of other issues) that impact Windows. The next major release of …
I am in the latter stages of a VMware version upgrade as 5.5 is going EOL. We have two sites with two vCentres. This was setup years before I joined the company. Sensibly we have decided to consolidate them into one instance. We chose to use the VCSA 6.5 appliance over the Windows one as it has the functionality , it is our organisation's global standard plus it saves a Windows license. The migration has been successful, with only a few niggles. The main one is Group Permissions doesn't like AD groups so as a workaround we have had to add accounts individually.
Was this written by VMWare?
No patching? No Malware? Really?
Anyone relying on that will be running Eastern European guest software before they they can say "I've been a total moron and taken a major vendor at their word, hook line and sinker."
Edit: Ah, no WINDOWS patching if your running on Linux. Thats just....
The VCSA migration is apparently less perilous when going 5.5 to 6.0, than all the way 5.5 to 6.5.
The checklist I've accrued after a number of failed attempts to 6.5:
Check your DNS (forward and reverse)
Revert to self-signed certs for the transition, you'll customize them again later
Check your DNS, I mean it
Keep either IPv4 or IPv6 net config on the source vCenter server, not both
Make sure your vCenter's vNIC portgroup is ephemeral if on a vDS, or duplicate it into a standard vSwitch
Ensure the SSO admin account (default) is in the DCadmins SSO group (default too)
Check your DNS, FFS
"Check your DNS, FFS"
THIS TIMES INFINITY.
Also, if you are running a 'slightly' goofy set (linked vCenters with an embedded PSC), realize that it's absolutely not supported after 6.0.0- 6.0.U1 made some changes and having multiple vCenters with embedded PSCs just don't play well. There *is* a migration path for that:
There's also some shenanigans if you are running Distributed vSwitch as well;
Greenfield vs. Brownfield is an interesting debate.
Going the upgrade route (brownfield) is fine for many and retains perf data and the like (if requested to). I've found it to be straightforward in a majority of cases.
New instance (greenfield) allows you to redesign (and rid yourself of those design decisions you [inherited|got wrong the first time]) but you loose perf data (but keep it in vROps).
Personally I prefer the latter greenfield approach as it usually gets a 'better' architected solution at the end of the process. There's *loads* of excellent (free!) resources out there to help you with both approaches.
Above all, get off windows and onto the appliance. :-)
p.s. Check your DNS (forward and reverse) is right. No, actually check it. ;-)
(Disclaimer: I work for VMW)
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