One thing that I’ve noticed the past few weeks of labbing is that vCenter can work in a VM on a ESXi cluster but I’m also running into the situations were if the ESXi cluster is completely offline vCenter doesn’t work.
Solution: Behold the vCenter Appliance, I’ve re-used a Dell Optiplex desktop and installed Windows Server 2008 R2 (Technet Edition) onto the computer and then installed vCenter onto the computer. This allows me to manage the Dual Dell R610’s from this appliance rather than from within the ESXi cluster.
It’s perfect for a DR situation, plus with the help of Acronos Lite I’m able to make a database backup to my local NAS (that acts as a SAN) so if the database ever become corrupt I can restore the database in a pinch. I’ve also managed to with ImgBurn burning a ISO image of the database to a DVD as a 3rd layer of protection.
I understand this is just a lab scenario, but it’s still very helpful in a live environment.
Ask this question, can you afford being without the vCenter database in a true DR situation? – Do you really want to spend hours rebuilding a vCenter configuration?
With this all being said, I find vCenter a very useful tool and I like it a great deal. I’ve only started to touch the surface of it with my track into VMware but it’s probably the rock that the modern VMware ESXi cluster is built around…