The design decisions for vCenter Server deployment discuss the number of vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller instances, the type of installation, and the topology.

vCenter Server Design Decision

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

SDDC-VI-VC-001

Deploy two vCenter Server systems in the first availability zone of each region.

One vCenter Server supporting the SDDC management components.

One vCenter Server supporting the edge components and compute workloads.

Isolates vCenter Server failures to management or compute workloads.

Isolates vCenter Server operations between management and compute.

Supports a scalable cluster design where the management components may be re-used as additional compute needs to be added to the SDDC.

Simplifies capacity planning for compute workloads by eliminating management workloads from consideration in the Compute vCenter Server.

Improves the ability to upgrade the vSphere environment and related components by providing for explicit separation of maintenance windows:

Management workloads remain available while workloads in compute are being addressed

Compute workloads remain available while workloads in management are being addressed

Ability to have clear separation of roles and responsibilities to ensure that only those administrators with proper authorization can attend to the management workloads.

Facilitates quicker troubleshooting and problem resolution.

Simplifies Disaster Recovery operations by supporting a clear demarcation between recovery of the management components and compute workloads.

Enables the use of two NSX managers, one for the management pod and the other for the shared edge and compute pod. Network separation of the pods in the SDDC allows for isolation of potential network issues.

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.

vCenter Server Platform Design Decision

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

SDDC-VI-VC-002

Deploy all vCenter Server instances as Linux-based vCenter Server Appliances.

Allows for rapid deployment, enables scalability, and reduces Microsoft licensing costs.

Operational staff might need Linux experience to troubleshoot the Linux-based appliances.

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 recommended 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 there is a need to replicate 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.

Platform Service Controller Design Decisions

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

SDDC-VI-VC-003

Deploy each vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller.

External Platform Services Controllers are required for replication between Platform Services Controller instances.

The number of VMs that have to be managed increases.

SDDC-VI-VC-004

Join all Platform Services Controller instances to a single vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

When all Platform Services Controller instances are joined into a single vCenter Single Sign-On domain, they can share authentication and license data across all components and regions.

Only one Single Sign-On domain will exist.

SDDC-VI-VC-005

Create a ring topology for the Platform Service Controllers.

By default Platform Service Controllers only replicate with one other Platform Services Controller, that creates a single point of failure for replication. A ring topology ensures each Platform Service Controller has two replication partners and eliminates any single point of failure.

Command-line interface commands must be used to configure the ring replication topology.

SDDC-VI-VC-006

Use an NSX Edge Services Gateway as a load balancer for the Platform Services Controllers.

Using a load balancer increases the availability of the PSC’s for all applications.

Configuring the load balancer and repointing vCenter Server to the load balancers Virtual IP (VIP) creates administrative overhead.

vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller Deployment Model
vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller Deployment Model