VMworld 2015: vCSA Best Practices

INF4528, William Lam, VMware

  • VCSA is on parity with Windows server in terms of scale and performance
  • VUM still requires a Windows server (future version will not)
  • FULL VUM capabilities in vSphere web client in 6.0 U1
  • Deployment types: Embedded (PSC and VC), or PSC as external
  • Multiple vCenters can point to one or more PSCs
  • PSCs can sit behind a load balancer for HA
  • The focus going forward for the vCenter is the VCSA platform
  • 6.0 U1 will allow you to repoint an embedded vCenter to an external PSC
  • VCSA installation is guided by a GUI or can be fully scripted.
  • vSphere 6.0 U1 will support both vCenter server and ESXi (greenfield) as deployment targets.
  • Ensure DNS is reachable from both client desktop and VCSA .
  • Ensure NTP/time is properly configured and in sync
  • “U” releases are now in-place upgrades.
  • Ensure SSL certificates match both hostname and IP address
  • VCSA upgrade: may want to consider pruning vCenter historical stats

VCSA Configuration

  • VCSA configuration via web client under “system configuration” tab
  • VAMI UI has returned in vSphere 6.0 U1 and is HTML5
  • PSC UI in vSphere 6.0 U1 in HTML5
  • Open browser to https//vc/psc
  • Authenticated via SSO
  • DCUI-type interface at VCSA console
  • Full command line is available
  • New to vSphere 6.0 U1 is a more scriptable appliancesh interface

VCSA Operations

  • Increase memory/CPU resources
  • Dynamic memory resize support
  • No longer require JVM tweaks
  • At boot time VCSA re-allocated memory
  • Increase disk capacity on live system.
  • VCSA has 11 VMDKs for different uses
  • Run a simple command line to expand within VCSA to use additional storage space
  • Patching and updates – Pulls updates from the internet. NEW: URL based patching is back.
  • Password expiration: VAMI UI or CLI. Root ages at 365 days.

VCSA Troubleshooting

  • Installation settings are stored in /etc/vmware/install-defaults
  • Native syslog support. Configurable in vSphere web client
  • Can forward vCenter logs via syslog
  • VIMTOP is like ESX top for vCenter
  • Support bundles  – can pull logs via GUI or CLI

VCSA Migration

  • Fling released for migration of Windows vCenter 5.5 to VCSA 5.5
  • Tech preview of an updated product to support 6.0. No ETA mentioned.


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