vSphere Foundation and Basics

Posted by Aruna Lakmal on 6:49:00 AM with No comments
As a VMware administrator or a VMware engineer you need to have a good knowledge about the basics and the foundation components of the vSphere platform. Here I would like to compare some vSphere product versions and basic components such as port numbers, vcenter versions, requirements, etc.

This post basically targeting to the vSphere 5.5 and this post will be updating in the future. I know if you are en expert you might know about these basics but if you are a beginner it's best place to start. 

As I explained in one of my previous post vSphere is a software suite which you can use to provide a virtualized datacenter platform to your infrastructure.  

vSphere is a per CPU socket and vRam Entitlement software suite. Basically there are three types of licences available for vCenters. 

Then What is vCenter?

vCenter is a centralized management tool that you can use to manage vmware hosts and VMs across the multiple Hosts. You can manage several features such as "High Availability (HA) , "Distributed Resource Scheduler"(DRS), Fault Tolerance (FT), Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (SDRS), etc. We will discuss these topics in the future. 

Here I would like to compare the vSphere Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise + licences and features. (vSphere advanced is no longer available), also there are two types of vCenter editions


  • vCenter Foundation - Can manage up to 3 Hosts
  • vCenter Standard 


Standard
Enterprise
Enterprise +
Overview
Server Consolidation and there is no planned down time
Powerful and efficient power management
Policy based datacenter solution
Product Component



Processor Entitlement
Per 1 CPU
Per 1 CPU
Per 1 CPU
vRAM Entitlement
24 GB
32 GB
48 GB
vCPU Entitlement
8 way
8 way
32 way
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for vmware
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
vMotion
Cross vSwitch
Cross vSwitch
Cross vSwitch/Cross vCenters- Long distance
Storage vMotion
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
High Availability
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Data Protection
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Fault Tolerance
2-vCPU
2-vCPU
4-vCPU
vShield Endpoint
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
vSphere Replication
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Hot Add
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Virtual Volumes
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Storage Policy Based Managements
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Big Data Extensions

Compatible
Compatible
Virtual Serial Port Connector

Compatible
Compatible
Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
Distributed Power Management (DPM)

Compatible
Compatible
Storage DRS


Compatible
Storage IO Control


Compatible
Network IO Control


Compatible
Flash Read Cache


Compatible
Content Library
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Storage APIs for Array Integration, Multipathing
Compatible
Compatible
Compatible
Distributed Switch


Compatible
Host Profiles and Auto Deploy


Compatible

Minimum Requirements for vSphere 5.0 vCenter Server

  • CPU - two 64-bit CPU or one 64-bit dual-core CPU 
  • Memory - Minimum 4GB, if the database is also installed more memory will be required
  • Storage - Minimum 4GB of space required , if database is also installed more storage will be required 
  • Better performance with 1GB of network connection
  • Operating Systems :
    • Windows Server 2003 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter 64-bit editions with SP2
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter 64-bit editions with SP1
    • Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter 64-bit Editions with SP2
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter 64-bit Editions
    • Windows server 2012 
  • Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1 Framework 
  • Microsoft Windows Installer 4.5 (If using SQL 2008 R2 Express)

Important Port Numbers for vSphere Communication 

  • 80/443 - vCenter Web Access
  • 902 - VM Heartbeat Management 
  • 8080/8443 - Web Services and HTTPS Web Services 
  • 389 - for LDAP
  • 636 - vCenter Linked mode 
  • 60099 - Web Service change service notification port
  • 10443 - vCenter Inventory Service HTTPS
  • 10109 - vCenter Inventory Service Management 
  • 10111 - vCenter Inventory Service Linked Mode Communications 

vCenter types 

Sometimes you may aware that there are two types of vCenters available 
  • Windows Based vCenter
  • SUSE Linux based vCenter Appliance (vCSA)
vCSA is a pre-configured vCenter server appliance which you can use directly in your VMware environment. If you choose to use this vCSA you don't need to worry about the installation and configuration of the server from the scratch, all you need to do is import the server Appliance to a available host and assign an IP Address to the server. 

Positives of vCSA over the Windows based vCenter 

  • Supports to the all vCenter features (HA/DRS/SDRS/Host profiles/dVswitch)
  • No Windows licence required 
  • No OS installation to be done 
  • No vCenter installation has to be done
  • Implementing is simple and straight forward 

Negatives of vCSA over the Windows based vCenter 

  • Doesn't support Microsoft SQL as an external database
  • vCenter Linked mode doesn't support 
  • vCenter Heardbeat doesn't support
  • No SingleSign-on using Windows Credentials 
  • vSphere Storage Appliance doesn't support to this. 

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