The end of vCenter for Windows. Why invest time now?
As many of you probably know vCenter for Windows will be deprecated with the next major release. This means you still have time before you have no choice but to upgrade to the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). But why wait with upgrading? If the technical benefits that the VCSA provide aren’t enough to persuade you. Then maybe the following non technical reasons can make you decide to invest some time now.
Before you get the pressure of implementing and managing the VCSA in a live production environment I think it would be desirable to get some hands on experience. Even though most of the vCenter product is still the same, there are some differences that you might want to look into:
- Most notable of course is the OS. Instead of relying on your Windows experience you will now have to work with Photon OS.
- With the Windows based vCenter installations where done with a MS SQL or Oracle database installation. With VCSA you will be working with a Postgress database within the appliance.
Your vCenter is part of a bigger whole and in most infrastructures this means that you have integrations with other products. So how will the rest of your infrastructure respond to a vCenter server that is not based on Windows? Or how does it react to a Postgress database instead of MS SQL or Oracle?
Within your organisation you might be using monitoring tools that are using an Windows agent or WMI to monitor the health of your Windows servers. But VCSA doesn’t use Windows, so can your tool deliver the level of monitoring that you require?
And what about backup? With VCSA you got a build in backup mechanism. But does this work for you? Or do you want to use your own backup product? You will want to test your own backup tooling first of course.
Before you know it vCenter on Windows is gone and all of a sudden you need to migrate to VCSA. Instead of waiting for that moment to happen and put a lot of pressure on you as an admin. Why not duplicate your existing vCenter and test the migration process? It is better to have done it at least once and get a feeling for what is going to happen.
In short don’t wait with VCSA until it is midnight and your time is up. Start now and get yourself up to speed with VCSA. Allow yourself time to test and play with the appliance. Your migration in production will be so much more relaxing when you already got a good grasp on the product.
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Sander Martijn is a Technical Professional for Conoscenza in The Netherlands. As a Technical Professional he works for different clients, building, troubleshooting and managing ICT infrastructures. He is a certified VMware VCP-DCV, VCP-DTM, several VSP and VTSP. Since 2015 he has been awarded vExpert status.