What is vCenter Server Services and features

Here i will tell you all about:

  1. What is vCenter Server
  2. vCenter Services
  3. vCenter Features
  4. JVM Memory
  5. Single Sign ON (SSO)
  6. VI Client
  7. VPXD (vCenter Server)
  8. Host d
  9. VPXA

#introducing vCenter Server:-

vCenter is a centralized management system (console) or an application Server for managing ESXi Hosts, VM’s, Datastore, clusters, alerts etc. vCenter acts as a proxy that performs tasks on the individual host (ESXi) that have been added as a member of vCenter Server installation. In vSphere 5.5 VMware includes vCenter server licensing in every kit & every edition of vSphere, underscoring the importance of vCenter server. The various editions that are offered by VMware includes vCenter server standard, Essentials and Foundation. While VMware has various other products, where vCenter is generally the central integration point tying them all together. Software such as vCloud Director, vCloud Automation Center (VCAC), vCenter Operations Manager & Site Recovery Manager, Update manager, Orchestrator they all depend on an instance of vCenter server.

  1. VMware vMotion
  2. Host Profiles
  3. VMHA
  4. Orchestrator
  5. V DRS
  6. VMware Update Manager

vCenter Services 

Core Services:- VM provisioning , Event logging, task scheduler, Alarms and Events, inventory, vAPP, Statistics and logging, Host and VM configuration.

Distributed Services:- vMotion, DRS, HA.

Additional Services:- Plug-in like update manager, vSheild zone, orchestrator, data recovery, storage monitoring, Hardware and Service status.

Database Interface:- Database connectivity. ( MS SQL )

ESXi Host Management:- ESXi Host mgmt.

Active directory Interface:- AD integration.

VMware VCMSDS:- Provides vCenter server (LDAP) directory Services.

VMware vSphere Profile Driven Storage Services.

VMware VSA Cluster Services 5.1:- A service that acts as a third cluster member in a VSA cluster with Two VSA cluster.

VMware Virtual Center Server:- Provides centralized mgmt of VM’s.

VMware virtual center mgmt web services:- Allows configurations of VMware vCenter mgmt services.

VMware vCenter orchestrator Server:- Hosts the vCenter orchestrator server.

VMware virtual center mgmt configuration:- A service for vCenter orchestrator, a workflow engine that can help administrator automate existing manual tasks.

VMware vCenter inventory Services:- Provides centralized inventory and search functions for VMware vCenter objects.

vCenter Single Sign ON


vCenter Server Features


  1. Resource Management for ESXi hosts & VMs
  2. VM Deployment
  3. Update Manager
  4. Templates Management
  5. Converter Enterprise
  6. Access Control (to AD)

vCenter Pre-Requisites:- 


  1. 2008 R2 or 64 Bit OS.
  2. Server must be in Domain.
  3. static IP and Host Name.
  4. Correct Date& Time.
  5. Create backend database.
  6. Determine licensing options.
  7. DNS Entry and resolve it from ESXi Host.
  8. Services Account for installation.

Note: Account that are using for installation must have:

i) log on as a service.

ii) Act as a part of an operating system.

iii) Member of Admin Group.

Hardware Requirement : Check VMware website.

Port Requirement (Check VMware website) Some ports are below:


  1. 80/443 :                                               For web access (HTTP,HTTPS).
  2. 8080/8443:                                         HTTP, HTTPS (for Web Services).
  3. 902:                                                       Heart beat, ESXi Mgmt, VM console.
  4. 389:                                                       For LDAP can be changed up to ( 1025-65535).
  5. 636:                                                       For linked mode can be changed up to (SSL)
  6. 60099:                                                  Web service change service notification port.
  7. 10443:                                                   vCenter inventory service HTTPS.
  8. 10109:                                                   vCenter inventory service Mgmt.
  9. 10111:                                                    vCenter inventory service linked mode.


Main Components which need to understand

  1. VI Client
  2. VPXD (vCenter Server)
  3. Host d
  4. VPXA



vCenter server and ESXi are accessed through VI client. vCenter server gives access to ESXi through VPXA. vCenter server agent VPXA process started on the host when the host is added to the vCenter server inventory. The VPXA vCenter server agent communicates with host agent Host D. The Host D is directly run on the host and it responsible for managing most of the operations on the host. It is aware with all the VM’s that are registered.

VPXA vCenter agent basically an intermediate b/w VPXD that runs on vCenter server and Host D that runs on Hosts. Host D Process is used to relay the tasks to perform on the host.

When you are logged into vCenter using VI client basically vCenter process commands through VPXA to Host D. which will update the vCenter database also but if you directly connect to ESXi host through Host D then the vCenter inventory database could not be updated.


Q. Explain JVM Memory and ephemeral port configuration?

JVM Memory:- vCenter server includes a service called VMware vCenter mgmt web services. This service required 1-4 GB of additional memory. To optimally configure web services, during installation you can specify the Maximum web services JVM memory in relation to the inventory size. For Ex. If you have small inventory (fewer less than 100 hosts and 1000 VM’s) select JVM size 1024 MB and if large inventory ( more than 400 host or 4000 VMs) the JVM size of 4096 MB.

Ephemeral Port configuration:- This option prevents the pool of available ephemeral ports from being exhausted in situations where vCenter will manage hosts on  which more than 2000 virtual machines will power on simultaneously.


Q. Explain vCenter single sign ON (SSO).

When administrator deploy multiple solutions in an environment, they often authenticated repeatedly with the same credentials used when they switched b/w various virtualization solution.

Administrators can sign on one rather than multiple times in vCenter server. SSO has multiple benefits:-

  1. It speeds up the operations and eases the authentication process.
  2. Supports for multiple identity sources, including multiple (AD) forests/Domains or mixed identity sources.
  3. Ability to trust each other without requiring authentication every time a solution is accessed.

SSO Features:-


  1. SSO server will auto discover all the vCenter 5.1 servers in the vSphere environment.
  2. vCenter 5.0 SSO servers require One Time Manual registration required.
  3. Users see all vCenter instances for Which they have permission.
  4. Linked mode is no longer needed for unified views of vCenter. If a user needs to share permission, roles or license.

Explain vCenter Serve Features


  1. VMware vSphere Web client:- Through this you can manage your virtual infra using any browser from anywhere in the world. (Port should be open from firewall end)
  1. Multi-hypervisor Management:- Provides simplified and integrated mgmt of VMware and hyper-V hosts.


  1. vCenter Server Single Sign On:- It eases/simplifies the administrator operation by allowing user to login once and then can access multiple instances of vCenter server and VMware vCloud director without further authentication.
  2. Inventory Search:- Have the entire vCenter inventory search including VMs, Hosts, Datastores, networks etc.
  3. Alerts and notifications:- You can configure alerts and notification like datastore and VM specific alarms that will trigger if anything happen.
  4. Host Profiles:- Simplify the process of configuring newly installed ESXi hosts, do not need to manually configure each host that takes a lot time.
  5. Resources Management for VMs:- Allocate CPU, Memory, Resources to VMs running on the Hosts. We can limit, share, reserve the resources for VMs.
  6. vSphere HA:- Automatically restart the VMs from the failed host to another available host in the cluster.
  7. Patch Management:- Using vSphere update manager we can perform patching to our ESXi hosts and Linux, Microsoft VMs.
  8. vCenter orchestrator:- Simplify management by automating more than 800 tasks using scripts and it also uses drag and drop interface.