While at a customer site this past week, I was confronted with a situation. But before I get to that, lets talk about vCenter and vCloud Design.
First thing is first, you should be vaguely familiar with vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT). One important topic it discusses is the placement and use of vCenter when it comes to vCloud Director. It's a recommended practice to have 2 vCenter servers in a vCloud environment. Use 1 vCenter server for hosting Datacenters/Clusters/VMs that are relevant to vSphere and vCloud Infrastructure Components. Use another vCenter server for hosting vCloud Resources. Why's this?
- Separation of management domains. It's important to know that vSphere and vCloud are different animals. Just because you are a vSphere admin, it doesn't make you a vCloud admin. By separating the two environments, you are letting vSphere admins access VMs that are outside the Cloud, and manage VMs that are considered vCloud Infrastructure.
- vCenter becomes abstracted. ESXi abstracts the hardware layer, and vCenter is the central management point. vCloud Director abstracts the resources that belong to vCenter and present those to vCloud as Provider Virtual Datacenters.
- Saves vSphere Admins from themselves. Have you've ever watched what happens when you add a vCenter server to vCloud Director? vCloud Director takes charge. It does it's own thing by creating folders, resource pools, port groups, appliances, etc. Everything that is created by vCloud has a set of characters that proceed it to become unique identifiers. If a vSphere admin has access to a Distributed Virtual Switch, and notices some random portgroup ending with HFE2342-FEF2123NJE-234, he is probably tempted to delete it. If a user goes crazy and starts deleting objects directly from vCenter without vCloud's knowledge, its havoc.
- Relieve Stress on vCenter. As Duncan pointed out below in the comments, if a tenant of the cloud is issuing a bunch of requests, it could possible render the vCenter server unusable. By separating out the workload among 2 vCenter functions, you will not impact a vCenter server responsible for management functions.
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