The initial releases of VxRail deployed a vCenter Server appliance on the VxRail appliance. The license for this vCenter Server appliance is 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 Managed vCenter Server. VxRail orchestrates the deployment and life cycle management of the VxRail vCenter Server.
Before VxRail v7.0.130, the VxRail-managed vCenter Server could only manage the VxRail Cluster on which it was deployed. Starting with v7.0.130, the VxRail-managed vCenter Server can manage multiple VxRail Clusters using a single VxRail vCenter Instance.
A VxRail appliance can optionally join a compatible customer-supplied vCenter Server environment, hosted outside of the VxRail cluster. This also 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 Managed 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 Managed 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: When using VxRail version 4.x, the customer-supplied vCenter Server can provide more configuration options and is sometimes recommended.