vSphere 6.0 blog – vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)

As many of you know i have been using the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) in my home lab for years now and in some customer (both production & test) environments as well. It doesn’t require a Windows installation since it is just a virtual appliance (VA) and deployed as a ova or ovf. However, the deployment has been changed now…
The VCSA also includes the vCenter Server Simulator which makes life really simple when you need to test e.g. some scripts and don’t have access to a live vSphere setup including e.g. the ESXi hosts.

There has always been a gap in scalability between the Windows based vCenter Server version and the VCSA but now in vSphere 6.0 the VCSA can scale the same way as the Windows based vCenter Server:


Metric Windows vCenter Server vCenter Server Appliance
Hosts per vCenter Server 1 000 1 000
Powered On VMs per vCenter Server 10 000 10 000
Hosts vSphere Cluster 64 64
VMs per vSphere Cluster 8 000 8 000
Linked Mode Yes Yes

Additional facts

    • Does not come as a ova or ofv anymore. It’s a ISO based installation that uses a browser to complete the installation. Click the .exe file and this is what you’ll see:
      Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 07.55.06
      These are the options you get:
      Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 07.55.16
  • VMware Data Protection (VDP) can be used for backup and recovery.
  • The following virtual hardware requirements applies to the different deployments
    Deployment type # Hosts # VMs VCSA vCPU VCSA RAM (GB)
    Tiny 20 400 2 8
    Small 150 3 000 4 16
    Medium 300 6 000 8 24
    Large 1 000 10 000 16 32
  • Different deployment options possible during the guided installer such as:
    • Install vCenter Server
    • Install Platform Services Controller
    • Install vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Controller (default)
  • Enhanced Linked Mode support

Missing features

There are still a few things we are missing in the VCSA:

  • MSSQL Support. I know a lot of customers want that. However, now when VDP is supported as a backup method that might be good enough.
  • Option to cluster the VCSA but the new FT feature or VDP support might be good enough.
  • vSphere Update Manager.

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