The initial releases of VxRail deployed a vCenter Server appliance on the VxRail appliance. The license for this vCenter Server appliance was included with VxRail. This vCenter Server deployment has been referred to as “internal” or “embedded” vCenter Server. For consistency, the term that is used throughout this guide is VxRail vCenter Server. VxRail orchestrates the deployment and life cycle management of the VxRail vCenter Server. This VxRail vCenter Server can only manage the VxRail cluster on which it is deployed.
A VxRail appliance can optionally join a compatible vCenter Server environment, hosted outside of the VxRail cluster. This feature allows for a central vCenter Server instance to manage multiple VxRail clusters. Each VxRail environment appears within vCenter Server as a cluster of hosts configured with a vSAN datastore. This environment has been referred to “external” or “existing” vCenter Server. For consistency, the term that is used throughout this guide is customer-supplied vCenter Server.
This instance of vCenter Server must exist before you deploy the VxRail appliance and requires a separate customer-provided license. You are responsible for deployment, configuration, and life cycle management of the customer-supplied vCenter Server.
The virtual infrastructure of a VxRail cluster is managed by a single vCenter Server instance, either VxRail vCenter Server or customer-supplied vCenter Server. When a VxRail appliance is deployed, the vCenter deployment type is selected and is difficult to change. Changing from a customer-supplied vCenter Server to VxRail vCenter Server requires a factory reset and all data to be wiped from the VxRail appliance and reinstalled. On the other hand, migrating a VxRail vCenter Server to a customer-supplied vCenter is possible but requires a Request for Product Qualification. Starting with VxRail 4.0.301, your Dell EMC service team can perform this migration procedure.
Starting with VxRail 4.7.x VxRail vCenter Server can be externalized using the VxRail plug-in.
Note: The customer-supplied vCenter Server provides more configuration options and is recommended.