vCenter Appliance – VDR 2.0 – VSA

After the 3 days of vSphere 5 training. I would like to point out 3 interesting components.

First of all the new vCenter appliance. This is based on SUSE linux. This is a really cool thing for the private Homelab as it is ready to use including an database and there are no Windows and MS SQL licenses necessary. Just deploy the OVF and boot the appliance. After the boot process has been finished point your browser to https://vCenterIP:5480. Login with User root/vmware, accept the EULA and start with the configuration of the database. The next step is to start the vCenter from the Status tab and that’s it. Now you should be able to access the vCenter using your vSphere client.

Second one is the new VDR 2.0. It is the major upgrade of the existing VDR 1.2.1 which was more or less useless as it was really buggy. The new version includes now some new functionality regarding reporting and scheduling of maintenance work. The new daily backup email report is really nice. But there are still some points open and I don’t understand why. For example why is it not possible to use CIFS share bigger than 500GB (do not use more than 499GB) and why does the virtual appliance still have only 2GB of memory and the same restriction not to increase the memory. You will loose your support if you increase it. There are still things in like an backup store will be locked until an damaged restore point is manually marked for deletion.

The last one is the VSA. The idea behind this is really nice, to use the local disk storage of an ESXi as shared storage. But the implementation of it is not really useful. You need between 9 and 11 IP’s for this solution. Why??? Furthermore it offers only an NFS share. Why? Would it be better to setup 2 appliance using linux, heartbeat, drbd and iSCSI of NFS? This will require only 2 external IP’s and 2 private IP’s for sync/heartbeat. That would be more efficient. Additionally this is enable you to use multipathing as each of the appliances has it’s own IP and iSCSI target. So the ESXi will recognize it as 1 LUN with 2 paths.

Further updates will follow … 🙂

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