You can set up your vCenter HA environment with an embedded Platform Services Controller or with an external Platform Services Controller. If you decide to use an external Platform Services Controller, you can place it behind a load balancer for protection in case of Platform Services Controller failure.

vCenter HA with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

When you use vCenter HA with an embedded Platform Services Controller, the environment setup is as follows.

Figure 1. vCenter HA with an Embedded Platform Services Controller

  1. The user provisions the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller.

  2. Cloning of the vCenter Server Appliance to a Passive and a Witness node occurs.

    • In a Basic configuration, the configuration creates and configures the clones.

    • In an Advanced configuration, the user creates and configures the clones.

  3. As part of the clone process, Platform Services Controller and all its services are cloned as well.

  4. When configuration is complete, vCenter HA performs replication to ensure that the Passive node is synchronized with the Active node. The Active node to Passive node replication includes Platform Services Controller data.

  5. When configuration is complete, the vCenter Server Appliance is protected by vCenter HA. In case of failover, Platform Services Controller and all its services are available on the Passive node.

vCenter HA with an External Platform Services Controller

When you use vCenter HA with an external Platform Services Controller, you must set up an external load balancer to protect the Platform Services Controller. If one Platform Services Controller becomes unavailable, the load balancer directs the vCenter Server Appliance to a different Platform Services Controller.

Set up of the external Platform Services Controller is discussed in the following VMware Knowledge Base articles.

  • 2147014: Configuring Netscaler Load Balancer for use with vSphere Platform Services Controller (PSC) 6.5

  • 2147038 Configuring F5 BIG-IP Load Balancer for use with vSphere Platform Services Controller (PSC) 6.5

  • 2147046 Configuring NSX Edge Load Balancer for use with vSphere Platform Services Controller (PSC) 6.5

The environment setup is as follows.

Figure 2. vCenter HA with External Platform Services Controller

  1. The user sets up at least two external Platform Services Controller instances. These instances replicate vCenter Single Sign-On information and other Platform Services Controller information, for example, licensing.

  2. During provisioning of the vCenter Server Appliance, the user selects an external Platform Services Controller.

  3. The user sets up the vCenter Server Appliance to point to a load balancer that provides high availability for Platform Services Controller.

  4. The user or the Basic configuration clones the first vCenter Server Appliance to create the Passive node and Witness node.

  5. As part of the clone process, the information about the external Platform Services Controller and the load balancer is cloned as well.

  6. When configuration is complete, the vCenter Server Appliance is protected by vCenter HA.

  7. If the Platform Services Controller instance becomes unavailable, the load balancer redirects requests for authentication or other services to the second Platform Services Controller instance.