The new release of VMware vSphere 6.5 will finally add some interesting news of the vCenter Server. Not only the virtual appliance (Linux based) version is not fully featured (was almost in version 6.0, but still with the big limit of VMware Update Manager available only for Windows), but now has some features only for this version and the Windows one become the limited version.
First sign was the Fling for the migration from a vCenter edition to the VCSA: the official Windows vCenter Server to vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Migration Tool which is part of the new VCSA vSphere 6.0 Update 2m release! Read vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Migration Tool officially GAs w/vSphere 6.0 Update 2m.
This migration tool has only the VCSA as a target.
But with version 6.5 there are some interesting features available only for the VCSA version:
First interesting new features is the integrated HA solution: and active / passive with witness architecture with two configuration options: Basic & Advanced. It’s not yet a one click deployment because has some complexity, like the required network configuration:
- eth0 – public network
- eth1 – private network (added during configuration)
Should be interesting see if and how will be difficult move from a standalone configuration to a HA configuration. But for sure a big improvement considering the limited option to have an high available vCenter Server.
The second feature is the integrated Updated Manager, that of course make sense for the VCSA, considering that of Windows was already existing (but with a SQL DB).
Other improvement are related to the bew vCenter Server Appliance management interface that include:
- Built in monitoring : Network, CPU, and Memory
- Visibility to vPostgres DB
- Remote syslog configuration
- vMon: enhanced watchdog functionality
Lot of other news are related to the management part (like new client and RestAPI), but not limited only to the VCSA.
Finally there is a simplified backup and restore with a new native file-based solution that removes dependency on 3rd party backup solutions. Some features of this new module are:
- Restore vCenter Server instance to a brand new appliance or restore directly from VCSA ISO
- Supports backup/restore of VCSA & PSC appliances (includes embedded and external deployments)
- Supported protocols include:
- Option for encryption
So finally the VCSA has more features rather than the Windows version and we can start to think at it for new deployment or migration. Virtual appliance approach has several interesting pro and only few cons in infrastructures that are becoming more and more complex.