vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 – some basic information

Some time ago I wrote a blog post about the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.0:
“vCenter Server Appliance – some basic information”

Since then, a lot has changed fundamentally with vSphere 5.5, so it is time for a new post replacing the old one:

Some Pro’s of the new vCenter Server Appliance 5.5:

• embedded vPostgres database supports 100 hosts and up to 3000 VMs
• you do not need a windows license
• you do not need a SQL license
• easy to deploy and easy to upgrade (built-in update function)

But there are some Con’s, too:

• it is still not possible to install VMware Update Manager in the vCSA
(but you can install it on a Windows VM -> license needed)
• no Linked mode support
• no support for vCenter Heartbeat
• maybe you have to give up some VMware/third party plugins

If you want to replace your Windows vCenter Server with the vCenter Server Appliance you should take care of the following points:

• is there a chance that your environment bursts the limitations in the next time
(100 hosts/3000 VMs)?
• do you need vCenter Heartbeat or linked mode?
• monitoring and backup/restore of the vCenter Server Appliance possible?
• are there any vCenter plug-ins you want to use?
• you need Update Manager? Then you will still need a Windows Server + SQL Database

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