VMware vSphere is a suite of software components for virtualization. These include ESXi, vCenter Server, and other software components that fulfill a number of different functions in the vSphere environment. Your hyperscale cloud provider manages many parts of your VMware Cloud on Public Cloud SDDC for you, but you can examine all components, and change certain parts of the configuration.

vSphere Components

vSphere includes the following software components:

The hypervisor on which you run virtual machines as a set of configuration and disk files that together perform all the functions of a physical machine.

No VMware Cloud on Public Cloud user has physical access to access ESXi host hardware or root access to the ESXi operating system. Procedures that require this kind of access must be performed by your hyperscale cloud provider staff. This means that you can't add, remove, or manage ESXi users, or undertake any other aspects of Host Management with the VMware Host Client.

vCenter Server
A service that acts as a central administrator tool for VMware ESXi hosts.

vCenter Server runs continuously in the background. It performs its monitoring and managing activities even when no clients are connected.

vCenter Single Sign-On
A service that is part of the vCenter Server management infrastructure. The vCenter Single Sign-On authentication service makes the VMware cloud infrastructure platform more secure by allowing the various vSphere software components to communicate with each other through a secure token exchange mechanism, instead of requiring each component to authenticate a user separately with a directory service like Active Directory. You can also add identity sources such as your on-premises Active Directory domain or Active Directory over LDAP as a Single Sign-On identity source. For more information, see Add or Edit a vCenter Single Sign-On Identity Sourcein the vSphere Authentication documentation.

vSphere Interfaces

The vSphere interface you use depends on the task you want to perform and on the component you want to manage.

vSphere Client
The vSphere Client is an HTML5-based client for managing VMware Cloud on Public Cloud. vSphere Client also performs most configuration tasks for on-premises vSphere SDDCs.
vSphere Command-Line Interfaces
vSphere supports multiple command-line interfaces for configuring virtual machines and other vSphere components. If you cannot use vSphere command-line interfaces, and you want to use them, contact your account team.
vSphere SDKs
vSphere supports several SDKs for managing different aspects of your vSphere environment.
Virtual Machine Console
Just as a physical machine, each virtual machine has a console that supports certain management tasks, depending on the operating system.

vCenter Server Features

Many vCenter Server features that required special licensing in earlier versions of the product are available as part of the vSphere Standard license in vSphere 6.x and are also supported for VMware Cloud on Public Cloud.

vCenter Server features include:

vSphere vMotion
Enables you to move running virtual machines from one ESXi host to another ESXi host without service interruption.
Storage vMotion
Allows you to move the disks and configuration file of a running virtual machine from one datastore to another without service interruption.
Advanced Cross vCenter vMotion
With Advanced Cross vCenter vMotion, you can move or clone workloads across vCenter Server systems even when the vCenter Server systems are in different vCenter Single Sign-On domains. You can initiate migration of workloads both from on-premises environments and from cloud environments.
vSphere High Availability
vSphere High Availability ensures that if a host fails in an SDDC cluster, all virtual machines on the host are restarted on another host in the same cluster. vSphere High Availability settings are preconfigured in VMware Cloud on Public Cloud and cannot be changed by customers.
vSphere DRS
Helps improve resource allocation and power consumption across all hosts and resource pools. vSphere DRS collects resource use information for all hosts and virtual machines in the cluster and or migrates virtual machines in the following situations:
  • Initial placement – When you power on a virtual machine in the cluster for the first time, DRS either places the virtual machine or makes a recommendation.
  • Load balancing – DRS attempts to improve resource use across the cluster by performing automatic migrations of virtual machines (vMotion) or by providing a recommendation for virtual machine migrations.
See Using Policies and Profiles in the VMware Cloud on Public Cloud Operations guide for more detail on the storage policies that govern DRS operation in the SDDC.