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Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Anyone have any input, experience or thoughts regarding running vCenter as a VM, on UCS/vSphere 5, where the vCenter instance is used as the integration point for UCSM, and the VM on which vCenter is running is connected to the vDistributed Switch (h/w VN-link) that UCSM and vCenter is managing??

It sounds risky, but is it plausible? Do I need to use a regular vSwitch for connectivity if I want to virtualize vCenter?   We presently run vCenter as a standalone host outside of the virtual environment it is managing. 

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Enthusiast

Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

My personal preference is to place the vCenter VM vNIC on a standard vSwitch. The reasoning behind this is so that if anything were to go side ways with the distributed switch (vmware, ucsm or N1KV). vCenter connectivity would not be affected and you would be able to troubleshoot the issue more effectively.

We usually put SQL on the vCenter VM as well.

Out standard configuration is this and it has worked very well with zero issues.

2 UCS vNICs for management and vCenter VM - these 2 are uplinked to standard vSwitch0

2 UCS vNICs for vMotion - these 2 are uplinked to standard vSwitch1 but configure the NIC teaming/failover so that vMotion traffic always stays on 1 Fabric Interconnect or the other.

2 UCS vNICs for VM traffic - these 2 are uplinked to either a VMware distributed switch or UCSM (VM-FEX) or N1KV.

View solution in original post

12 REPLIES 12
Enthusiast

Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

My personal preference is to place the vCenter VM vNIC on a standard vSwitch. The reasoning behind this is so that if anything were to go side ways with the distributed switch (vmware, ucsm or N1KV). vCenter connectivity would not be affected and you would be able to troubleshoot the issue more effectively.

We usually put SQL on the vCenter VM as well.

Out standard configuration is this and it has worked very well with zero issues.

2 UCS vNICs for management and vCenter VM - these 2 are uplinked to standard vSwitch0

2 UCS vNICs for vMotion - these 2 are uplinked to standard vSwitch1 but configure the NIC teaming/failover so that vMotion traffic always stays on 1 Fabric Interconnect or the other.

2 UCS vNICs for VM traffic - these 2 are uplinked to either a VMware distributed switch or UCSM (VM-FEX) or N1KV.

View solution in original post

Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Jeremy,

That makes a lot of sense.  Thanks for sending your setup!

Pete

Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Jeremy,

One further question to your setup:  which (if any) of the six vNICs presented to ESX would you run in passthrough mode, assuming you are running vSphere 5?

Thanks!

Enthusiast

Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Peter, sorry for the delayed response. I got busy and forgot about it.

The VMWarePassThru adapter policy is for dynamic vNICs (VM-FEX) configuration. I don't use that adapter policy for ESXi host vmnics.

Beginner

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Hi  Jeremy, I see you  UCS has more than two vNICs,but the UCS server default only has two vNIC in service profile.

Now I want to use advance feature such as HA and FT of vSphere.So I need more than two vNIC,When I add vNIC adapter  in service profile,I get a problem.look my picture:

                                 

                                                                                                                                                             Thanks!

Enthusiast

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Which adapter do you have? You must have the Cisco VIC M81KR to be able to add more than 2 vNICs to your service profile.

Beginner

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

My bland is B200 M1 server,it  only has adapter M71KR-Q:

If I can't add more than two vNIC because the adapter is M71KR-Q.??

Enthusiast

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Correct, that adapter only supports 2 vNICs and 2 vHBAs. You need the Cisco VIC M81KR, that is the recommended adapter for ESX, XenServer, Windows 2008 and RHEL.

The M71KR-Q/E adapaters are for older OS or OS that do not have driver support for the M81KR.

Beginner

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

Thanks,Jeremy.your answer let me konw my problem when I add the vNIC in service profile.

     Now I want to verify, if I can change  M71KR-Q/E to M81KR in blade and  how can I get it ?

     Because  I have  vsphere software,EMC storage and UCS so I want to use virtualization in my project.

Enthusiast

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

it is an easy change once you get the adapters. you will need to re-install ESXi after the change though. you should be able to get the M81KR adapter from who ever you purchased UCS from

Beginner

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

       OK,When I get the M81KR adapter,I replace M71KR to M81KR or install both adapter in blade?

                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                            Thanks, Jeremy!

                                                                                                                              Best wishes

Enthusiast

Re: Running vCenter as a VM using a vDistributed Switch

replace it, B200/230 blades have only 1 mezzanine slot, B250/440 blades have 2 but I would not mix 2 different adapters in the same blade.

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