vCenter Server is the centralized platform for managing a VMware environment. VxRail includes a license to run vCenter hosted on VxRail (the license is not transferrable to run vCenter on an external server). It is the primary point of management for both server virtualization and vSAN and is the enabling technology for advanced capabilities such as vMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and high availability (HA). vCenter scales to enterprise levels where a single vCenter can support up to 1,000 hosts (VxRail nodes) and 10,000 virtual machines. vCenter supports a logical hierarchy of datacenters, clusters, and hosts, which allows resources to be segregated by use cases or lines of business and allows resources to move dynamically as needed. This is all done from a single interface.
As part of a VxRail deployment, a standalone vCenter instance is optionally configured on VxRail and provides the primary point of management for both the virtual machine and vSAN environments. The vCenter instance will be configured with an external Platform Services Controller (PSC), where the vCenter server and the PSC are configured as separate virtual machines.
Figure 22. Three separate vCenter environments
The VxBlock and two VxRail environments are managed as separate entities. This is a simple environment, and in some cases, the planning and deployment may be easier as there are no interactions.
A VxRail system can optionally join an existing externally hosted vCenter Server environment during the initial configuration (if the versions are compatible with the VxRail software). This allows for a central vCenter Server to manage multiple VxRail systems from a single pane of glass. Each VxRail cluster appears within vCenter.
The figure below shows an example where multiple VxRail clusters are part of an existing vCenter environment. Each VxRail is a unique and independent vSAN data store within vCenter.
Figure 23. VxRail within an existing vCenter environment
The external vCenter server can be a physical server or a virtual server running as either a VCSA or in a Windows virtual machine. The Platform Services Controller (PSC) can be either embedded or non-embedded. As part of the initial configuration, the management page of the VxRail wizard presents the option to join an existing vCenter. If selected, specify the hostname of the vCenter Server and administrator password, identify the datacenter to add the VxRail environment, and supply the name of the cluster.
The figure below shows an example of the VxRail Initialization Wizard dialog to specify joining an existing vCenter Server.
Figure 24. Initialization wizard
The datacenter must already exist within vCenter, and the cluster will be created as part of the installation process. See the VxRail vCenter Server Planning Guide for more information on configuration options.