A vCenter Server deployment can consist of one or several vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller instances according to the scale, number of virtual machines and continuity requirements for your environment.

You also determine the type of installation and the topology of the vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller instances.

Table 1. Design Decisions on the Number of vCenter Server Instances

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

ROBO-VI-VC-001

Deploy a single vCenter Server in each ROBO.

  • Supports clear separation of roles and responsibilities to ensure that only administrators with proper authorization can administer certain ROBO sites.

  • Simplifies operations support in a large-scale ROBO design.

Requires licenses for each vCenter Server instance.

You can install vCenter Server as a Windows-based system or deploy the Linux-based VMware vCenter Server Appliance. The Linux-based vCenter Server Appliance is preconfigured, enables fast deployment, and potentially results in reduced Microsoft licensing costs.

Table 2. Design Decisions on the vCenter Server Platform

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

ROBO-VI-VC-002

Deploy the vCenter Server instance in each ROBO as a Linux-based vCenter Server Appliance.

Supports fast deployment, enables scalability, and reduces Microsoft licensing costs.

Operational staff needs Linux experience to troubleshoot the Linux-based appliances.

Platform Services Controller Design Decision Background

vCenter Server supports installation with an embedded Platform Services Controller (embedded deployment) or with an external Platform Services Controller.

  • In an embedded deployment, vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller run on the same virtual machine. Embedded deployments are suitable for standalone environments with only one vCenter Server system.

  • Environments with an external Platform Services Controller can have multiple vCenter Server systems. The vCenter Server systems can use the same Platform Services Controller services. For example, several vCenter Server systems can use the same instance of vCenter Single Sign-On for authentication.

  • If you must replicate the Platform Services Controller instance with other Platform Services Controller instances, or if the solution includes more than one vCenter Single Sign-On instance, you can deploy multiple external Platform Services Controller instances on separate virtual machines.

Table 3. Design Decisions on Platform Service Controller

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

ROBO-VI-VC-003

In each ROBO, deploy the vCenter Server instance with an embedded Platform Services Controller.

Simplifies deployment and operation.

Embedded Platform Services Controllers do not support replication.