vSphere 6.0: vCenter Server Architecture (Part-13)

In previous post, we learned about how to install Guest OS and VMware Tools in a virtual machine. If you’ve missed previous posts of this series, you can find them here.

  1. Introduction to vSphere 6.0
  2. Introduction to Virtual Infrastructure
  3. vSphere 6.0 Lab Setup
  4. vSphere Client 6.0
  5. Install and Configure ESXi 6.0
  6. Configure IP Address and Hostname of ESXi 6.0
  7. Configure NTP Client using vSphere Web Client 
  8. Understanding Virtual Machine Files
  9. Virtual Machine Virtual Hardware
  10. Virtual Disk Types
  11. Creating a Virtual Machine
  12. Installing Guest OS and VMware Tools in a VM

In this post, we’ll learn about the most important component of data center virtualization that is vCenter Server. VMware vCenter Server enables us to centrally manage virtual environment such as multiple ESXi hosts and their virtual machines. Failure to properly install, configure, and manage vCenter Server might result in reduced administrative efficiency or possible ESXi host and virtual machine downtime.

vCenter Server Architecture

The vCenter Server architecture relies on the following components:

  • VMware vSphere Client and VMware vSphere Web Client: Both are user interfaces, where vSphere Client used to connect directly ESXi hosts, and vSphere Web Client connects directly to vCenter Server. When an ESXi host is controlled and managed through vCenter Server, administrators should always be used vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client interface to manage that host.
  • vCenter Server Database: It stores the inventory items, security roles, resource pools, and other critical information for vCenter Server.
  • VMware vCenter Single Sign-On: It provides a security domain defined in your virtual environment. Authentication with Active Directory domain is performed by Single Sign-On.

vCenter Server Components

                                                                Figure: Thanks to VMware

Additional vCenter Server Services

vCener Server can also perform following additional services and interfaces:

  • Core services include management of resources and virtual machines by the inventory service.
  • Distributed services include vMotion, DRS, HA are installed with vCenter Server.
  • Additional services are packaged separately from the base product and requires separate installation, e-g vSphere Update Manager, vRealize Orchestrator with no additional license required.
  • vCenter Single Sign-On provides access to domain user account via Active Directory authentication.

Platform Services Controller (PSC)

VMware Platform Services Controller (PSC) is a new service which was first time introduced in vSphere 6.0, which handles the infrastructure security functions such as vCenter Single Sign-On, licensing, certificate management and server reservation.

PSC provides one appliance- or Windows-based virtual machine platform to systems administrators for centralized management of these common infrastructure services.

Platform Services Controller services

Following components will be deployed when PSC is installed

  1. VMware Certificate Aurthority (VMCA)
  2. Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Single Token Service (STS)
  • Identity Management Service
  • Directory Service
  1. VMware Licensing Service (controlled by vCenter Server in vSphere 5.5)
  2. Misc services
    • VMware Common Logging Service
    • VMware Component Manager Service
    • VMware HTTP Reverse Proxy

PSC Deployment                                            

PSC can be deployed in two modes:

  1. Embedded
  2. Centralized

To know more about vCenter Server you can follow VMware vSphere 6.0 Part 2 – vCenter, Alarms and Templates course. In next posts, we’ll learn how to deploy PSC both in embedded and centralized mode.

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