You can deploy the vCenter Server Appliance or install vCenter Server for Windows with an embedded or external Platform Services Controller. You can also deploy a Platform Services Controller as an appliance or install it on Windows. If necessary, you can use a mixed operating systems environment.

Before you deploy the vCenter Server Appliance or install vCenter Server for Windows, you must determine the deployment model that is suitable for your environment. For each deployment or installation, you must select one of the three deployment types.

Table 1. vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller Deployment Types

Deployment Type

Description

vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller

All services that are bundled with the Platform Services Controller are deployed together with the vCenter Server services on the same virtual machine or physical server.

Platform Services Controller

Only the services that are bundled with the Platform Services Controller are deployed on the virtual machine or physical server.

vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller

(Requires external Platform Services Controller)

Only the vCenter Server services are deployed on the virtual machine or physical server.

You must register such a vCenter Server instance with a Platform Services Controller instance that you previously deployed or installed.

vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

Using an embedded Platform Services Controller results in a standalone deployment that has its own vCenter Single Sign-On domain with a single site. vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller is suitable for small environments. You cannot join other vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller instances to this vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

Figure 1. vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller


vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller installed on the same virtual machine or physical server.


Installing vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller has the following advantages:

  • The connection between vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller is not over the network, and vCenter Server is not prone to outages caused by connectivity and name resolution issues between vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller.

  • If you install vCenter Server on Windows virtual machines or physical servers, you need fewer Windows licenses.

  • You manage fewer virtual machines or physical servers.

Installing vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller has the following disadvantages:

  • There is a Platform Services Controller for each product which might be more than required and which consumes more resources.

  • The model is suitable only for small-scale environments.

You can configure the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller in vCenter High Availability configuration. For information, see vSphere Availability.

Note:

After you deploy or install vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller, you can reconfigure the deployment type and switch to vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller.

Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server with an External Platform Services Controller

When you deploy or install a Platform Services Controller instance, you can create a vCenter Single Sign-On domain or join an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain. Joined Platform Services Controller instances replicate their infrastructure data, such as authentication and licensing information, and can span multiple vCenter Single Sign-On sites. For information, see Understanding vSphere Domains, Domain Names, and Sites.

You can register multiple vCenter Server instances with one common external Platform Services Controller instance. The vCenter Server instances assume the vCenter Single Sign-On site of the Platform Services Controller instance with which they are registered. All vCenter Server instances that are registered with one common or different joined Platform Services Controller instances are connected in Enhanced Linked Mode.

Figure 2. Example of Two vCenter Server Instances with a Common External Platform Services Controller
The Platform Services Controller is installed on one virtual machine or physical host and the vCenter Server instances registered with that Platform Services Controller are installed on other virtual machines or physical hosts.

Installing vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller has the following advantages:

  • Fewer resources consumed by the shared services in the Platform Services Controller instances.

  • The model is suitable for large-scale environments.

Installing vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller has the following disadvantages:

  • The connection between vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller might have connectivity and name resolution issues.

  • If you install vCenter Server on Windows virtual machines or physical servers, you need more Microsoft Windows licenses.

  • You must manage more virtual machines or physical servers.

For information about the Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server maximums, see the Configuration Maximums documentation.

For information about configuring the vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller in vCenter High Availability configuration, see vSphere Availability.

Mixed Operating Systems Environment

A vCenter Server instance installed on Windows can be registered with either a Platform Services Controller installed on Windows or a Platform Services Controller appliance. A vCenter Server Appliance can be registered with either a Platform Services Controller installed on Windows or a Platform Services Controller appliance. Both vCenter Server and the vCenter Server Appliance can be registered with the same Platform Services Controller.

Figure 3. Example of a Mixed Operating Systems Environment with an External Platform Services Controller on Windows


External Platform Services Controller in a Windows virtual machine or physical server serving a vCenter Server for Windows instance and a vCenter Server Appliance instance.


Figure 4. Example of a Mixed Operating Systems Environment with an External Platform Services Controller Appliance


External Platform Services Controller in a Linux virtual machine or physical server serving a vCenter Server for Windows instance and a vCenter Server Appliance instance.


Note:

To ensure easy manageability and maintenance, use only appliances or only Windows installations of vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller.