The unified resources of a VxRail appliance create a virtual infrastructure that is defined and managed as a vSphere cluster under a single instance of vCenter. During the VxRail initialization process which creates the final product, you must select whether to use either:
- The VxRail-supplied vCenter Server, which is deployed in the cluster as part of the initial initialization process.
- A customer-supplied vCenter Server, which is external to the cluster.
Once the initialization process is complete, migrating to a new vCenter single point of management requires professional services assistance, as it is difficult to change.
Dell Technologies recommends that you consider all the ramifications during this planning and preparation phase. Those considerations can help you decide on the single point of management option that works most effectively for your organization.
Consider the following for selecting the VxRail vCenter server:
- A vCenter Standard license is included with VxRail and does not require a separate license. This license cannot be transferred to another vCenter instance.
- The VxRail vCenter Server can manage only a single VxRail instance. An environment of multiple VxRail clusters with the embedded vCenter instance requires an equivalent number of points of management for each cluster.
- VxRail Lifecycle Management supports the upgrade of the VxRail vCenter server. Upgrading a customer-supplied vCenter using VxRail Lifecycle Management is not supported.
- DNS services are required for VxRail. With the VxRail vCenter option, you can either use the internal DNS supported within the VxRail cluster or leverage external DNS in your data center. The internal DNS option only supports naming services on the VxRail cluster on which it is deployed. This option cannot support naming services outside of that cluster.
For a customer-supplied vCenter, consider the following:
- The vCenter Standard license that is included with VxRail cannot be transferred to a vCenter instance outside of the VxRail cluster.
- Multiple VxRail clusters can be configured on a single customer-supplied vCenter server, limiting the points of management.
- With the customer-supplied vCenter, external DNS must be configured to support the VxRail cluster.
- Ensuring version compatibility of the customer-supplied vCenter with VxRail is the responsibility of the customer.
- With the customer-supplied vCenter, you can configure the virtual-distributed switches yourself to support the VxRail cluster or have VxRail deploy a virtual-distributed switch and perform the configuration. This option is advantageous if you want better control and manageability of the virtual networking in your data center. It consolidates the number of virtual-distributed switches in your vCenter instance.
- If you plan to deploy one or more dynamic VxRail clusters where the primary storage resource is a remote vSAN datastore, a customer-supplied vCenter is preferable. All clusters participating in sharing and receiving vSAN datastore resources must reside in a common vCenter instance.
Note: The option to use the internal DNS or to deploy the VxRail cluster against a preconfigured virtual-distributed switch requires VxRail version of 7.0.010 or later.
For more details on the planning steps for a customer-supplied vCenter, see the Dell VxRail vCenter Server Planning Guide.