Comprehensive data protection for all workloads
Post Reply
numberaut
Novice
Posts: 6
Liked: never
Joined: May 12, 2011 7:09 pm
Full Name: Leif Buckner
Contact:

To vCenter or not to vCenter

Post by numberaut » May 12, 2011 7:28 pm

I built a free VMware Server 1.x -- and later 2.x -- farm at my company several years ago. I am trying to take us to ESXi. We recently purchased Essentials and Veeam. Currently, I have 2 physical hosts with local storage only (no SAN or shared-storage of any kind), and I've so far managed these without vCenter Server. I simply login to each individually. I ran my old, free, VMware Server/Linux farm using rscync and scp as needed, and I've more-or-less continued to do this with ESXi.

I have setup Veeam Backup & Replication this week and the Enterprise Manager on a VM on one of the ESXi 4.x hosts, and am going about adding my servers. Veeam recommends vCenter server.

Questions: I know vmotion will not work with vCenter Server with no shared storage, but what other advantages will it provide for Veeam, et al.? What advantages/disadvantages are there to doing vCenter over straight hosts?

My worst fear is setting this up to have it make irrecoverable changes to my ESXi hosts, that cannot be undone easily.

Gostev
SVP, Product Management
Posts: 24787
Liked: 3514 times
Joined: Jan 01, 2006 1:01 am
Location: Baar, Switzerland
Contact:

Re: To vCenter or not to vCenter

Post by Gostev » May 12, 2011 9:01 pm

There are no advantages for Veeam with vCenter Server specified, standalone hosts are just fine. Having vCenter only gives YOU more convenience in cases when your VMs move around from one host to another (Veeam can still "recognize" moved VM in case of vCenter server, and continue incrementa backup).

Our product does not do any irrecoverable changes to the ESXi hosts that cannot be undone easily. Basic functionality (backup and replication jobs) is pretty much read-only, aside of snapshot creation/deletion.

Advanced vPower-based functionality will add new objects to the host configuration (specifically vPower NFS datastore, resource pool and folder, virtual lab vSwitch, networks and proxy appliance), but these are easy to remove if needed by simply deleting in vSphere client (and of course we do clean up after ourselves automatically when you remove your ESX host or delete a virtual lab in the Veeam UI).

Don't worry too much, you are not the first to use our product, it has been around for a few years, and there were at least 20000 of other before you ;)

numberaut
Novice
Posts: 6
Liked: never
Joined: May 12, 2011 7:09 pm
Full Name: Leif Buckner
Contact:

Re: To vCenter or not to vCenter

Post by numberaut » May 12, 2011 11:05 pm

Thanks much for the knowledgeable reply.

I am more concerned with any changes vCenter Server may make to my individual ESXi hosts, than Veeam. I would like to give vCenter a stab.

Last question: could I setup a vCenter Server instance/vm and play with it, but still handle my individual ESXi hosts without it, etc.? That is, can I do any/all: run Veeam through vCenter or not, or use Veeam with individual hosts only?

I hope that made sense.

If nothing else, it sounds like vCenter would be nice for updates and other tools and features, even if I cannot do vMotion and other fancy stuff.

Gostev
SVP, Product Management
Posts: 24787
Liked: 3514 times
Joined: Jan 01, 2006 1:01 am
Location: Baar, Switzerland
Contact:

Re: To vCenter or not to vCenter

Post by Gostev » May 12, 2011 11:14 pm

vCenter is safe to deploy too, it will not break anything.
numberaut wrote:could I setup a vCenter Server instance/vm and play with it, but still handle my individual ESXi hosts without it, etc.?
If I am not mistaken, as soon as you add ESX host to vCenter, you lose ability to manage it as a standalone host, and instead have to manage it through the vCenter connection.
numberaut wrote:run Veeam through vCenter or not, or use Veeam with individual hosts only?
Even if ESX host is registered with vCenter, you can still add it to Veeam as a standalone host. And, of course, you can add it by adding vCenter server. Just not both of these at the same time - you have to choose either approach.

jwaynejones
Novice
Posts: 8
Liked: 1 time
Joined: Oct 07, 2010 1:55 pm
Full Name: Jeremy Jones
Contact:

Re: To vCenter or not to vCenter

Post by jwaynejones » May 13, 2011 6:24 pm

Technically, you're still able to manage the hosts individually, but you should only do so in event of a vCenter failure. if you implement vCenter, do all management via vCenter. vCenter adds significant features and capabilities, if you're running a production VMW implementation with more than one host, you should use vCenter.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Amit2728, Bing [Bot], EugeneK, Novae, teddyJH, Tomasz Turek and 72 guests