Possible to run VCenter on intel atom ?

axan

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I want to get rid of my virutalized vcenter and replace it with small/cheap rack-mountable server. I was thinking of using one of the supermicro intel atom D510 barebones like this one
My setup consists of
2x vsphere 4U2 servers
12 active vms
2-4 play around vms that only run some of the time

Would the intel d510 coupled with 4gb of ram be able to handle running the vcenter?
 

lopoetve

Imhotep
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If it'll run Windows, it'll try to run. I don't think anyone has ever given that a shot to see what the performance is though.
 

MikeTrike

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I've run Vista Ultimate x64 on an Atom 330 so it may work well, Vista ran surprisingly well though.
 
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I don't see it as being a problem. vCenter is a Windows Server app. I run mine in a Hyper-V VM of all places.
 
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Why would you want to de-virtualize vCenter? Running on a physical box it no longer gains the benefits of HA, DRS, easy backups, snapshots, etc.
 

axan

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I don't see it as being a problem. vCenter is a Windows Server app. I run mine in a Hyper-V VM of all places.
It's not a question of if it will run on atom but a question of performance.

Why would you want to de-virtualize vCenter? Running on a physical box it no longer gains the benefits of HA, DRS, easy backups, snapshots, etc.
Virtual vcenter is ok but makes updates PITA, in order to update the host you need to put it into maintenance mode, to do that you need to shutdown all vms, can't update the host if the vcenter update manager is not running so you have a nice chicken and the egg problem. You can't update the host without vcenter running and you can't enter maintenance mode if the vcenter vm is still running. So you have to move the vcenter to another host which is pita without vmotion.
 
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It's not a question of if it will run on atom but a question of performance.



Virtual vcenter is ok but makes updates PITA, in order to update the host you need to put it into maintenance mode, to do that you need to shutdown all vms, can't update the host if the vcenter update manager is not running so you have a nice chicken and the egg problem. You can't update the host without vcenter running and you can't enter maintenance mode if the vcenter vm is still running. So you have to move the vcenter to another host which is pita without vmotion.
Why do you not have VMotion? Are you running vSphere Standard?

You can also update manually using vSphere CLI. Install it on your workstation and download vSphere updates to a local FTP or web server. Then you can update the host from your command line.

If you want to stick with Update Manager, assuming your two hosts are using shared storage (FC, iSCSI, NFS) you can shut down the vCenter VM on one box, remove it from the inventory, then power it up on the other host.

If you're only running two hosts, I would use the CLI.

Download:
http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/vcli40u2/ZHcqYmRodGpiZHR3ZA==

CLI manual. "vihostupdate" is the command you use to update.
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40_u1/vsp_40_u1_vcli.pdf
 

NetJunkie

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A lot of people don't like virtualized vCenter because they don't want the management to depend on the environment it is managing....especially with like the Nexus 1000v.
 
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A lot of people don't like virtualized vCenter because they don't want the management to depend on the environment it is managing....especially with like the Nexus 1000v.
Or a standard vDS.

But in the OP's situation, it sounds like he's running vSphere Standard or Essential Plus so that wouldn't come into play.

Considering how small the environment is it probably doesn't matter one way or the other so long as there's adequate physical hardware to move it to. But if the environment grows much larger it will have to be migrated again as an Atom box won't be able to handle the load.
 

Red Squirrel

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Our vcenter was virtualized at one point, and it's actually a silly thing to do, since if there's something wrong, you can't log in to check what's up. vcenter is something you want seperate from your virtual environment if possible, so if there's something wrong with the virtual environment then you can still get to it to see what's up.

That said, I find the latest vsphere is a huge hog. I would not try to run it on an atom based PC. Probably best to get a mid end 1U box, like a PE1950 or something. It's also something you may want to add redundancy to as well.
 

lopoetve

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Why would you want to de-virtualize vCenter? Running on a physical box it no longer gains the benefits of HA, DRS, easy backups, snapshots, etc.
There are some benefits too.

Personally, I always make a recommendation that at least a backup VC server should be physical, or a VC Heartbeat server should be physical. There's been discussion on here about why, but suffice to say when you get a call and there is a failure that has knocked VC offline as well, solving the problem without centralized management is a significantly harder endeavor at times.

Not to mention that depending on how you configured things, you may have to destroy part of your environment to get it BACK online
 

lopoetve

Imhotep
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Or a standard vDS.

But in the OP's situation, it sounds like he's running vSphere Standard or Essential Plus so that wouldn't come into play.

Considering how small the environment is it probably doesn't matter one way or the other so long as there's adequate physical hardware to move it to. But if the environment grows much larger it will have to be migrated again as an Atom box won't be able to handle the load.
Bingo.

Lemme pose something interesting. If VC goes down, say, to a storage failure, and you have to restore from backup, and you only have vDS switches... you can't reconnect it to those vDS switches. Modifying a vDS requires VC. :) You have to get VC on the vDS to modify the vDS. Yay. Now tear apart the vDS and build a vswitch.

Heartbeat, physical, or have a physical backup, imho.
 
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Bingo.

Lemme pose something interesting. If VC goes down, say, to a storage failure, and you have to restore from backup, and you only have vDS switches... you can't reconnect it to those vDS switches. Modifying a vDS requires VC. :) You have to get VC on the vDS to modify the vDS. Yay. Now tear apart the vDS and build a vswitch.

Heartbeat, physical, or have a physical backup, imho.
You could have backup standard vSwitches configured on each host for that kind of calamity. But then you're adding more management overhead.

In my opinion, if running VC as a VM make sure to have solid backups of the entire VM and the DB. You can have a backup physical VC ready to deploy if something happens.

However, you face the same issues with a physical box. What if it has only one PSU and that dies? What if the mobo goes out? What if the physical box needs maintenance?

When the situation allows, I'd rather have a virtual vCenter and rely on a physical as a backup rather than the other way around.
 

StarTrek4U

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However, you face the same issues with a physical box. What if it has only one PSU and that dies? What if the mobo goes out? What if the physical box needs maintenance?
The good news there is your Virtual Environment will just keep on running regardless, you just can't manage & make changes. So it really doesn't matter if your VCenter server dies- since everything else will continue to hum right along, unless it happens to do so when your Virtual Environment goes, at which point you would have been screwed anyway had you virtualized it.
 

lopoetve

Imhotep
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You could have backup standard vSwitches configured on each host for that kind of calamity. But then you're adding more management overhead.

In my opinion, if running VC as a VM make sure to have solid backups of the entire VM and the DB. You can have a backup physical VC ready to deploy if something happens.

However, you face the same issues with a physical box. What if it has only one PSU and that dies? What if the mobo goes out? What if the physical box needs maintenance?

When the situation allows, I'd rather have a virtual vCenter and rely on a physical as a backup rather than the other way around.
Either way works, as long as there is a physical version of it ~somewhere~ to press into use when needed.
 

Tolem

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is vcenter to esxi virtual machines what "hyper-v manager" is to hyper-v 2008 r2 virtual machines?

But it sounds like you need a dedicated server to run it off of where hyper-v manager has a really light footprint and can run on a win7 workstation??

(excuse my ignorance, starting to entertain trying out vmware instead of microsoft hyper-v)
 

Shockey

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is vcenter to esxi virtual machines what "hyper-v manager" is to hyper-v 2008 r2 virtual machines?

But it sounds like you need a dedicated server to run it off of where hyper-v manager has a really light footprint and can run on a win7 workstation??

(excuse my ignorance, starting to entertain trying out vmware instead of microsoft hyper-v)
recommend 2.0Ghz processor and 3gm ram. Also if you run the database on same system may be higher.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/mi...nguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1009080
 

lopoetve

Imhotep
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is vcenter to esxi virtual machines what "hyper-v manager" is to hyper-v 2008 r2 virtual machines?

But it sounds like you need a dedicated server to run it off of where hyper-v manager has a really light footprint and can run on a win7 workstation??

(excuse my ignorance, starting to entertain trying out vmware instead of microsoft hyper-v)
Imagine the manager on crack - there's a lot more that vcenter does than the hyper-v manager.
 

dasaint

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i have a buddy thats running it on his EeePC 1004ha and he says it does the job...
ures sounds fine, running a vc on that dual with 4 gigs... that should be plenty... it may startup slower due to tomcat hounding the proc. but thats about it.
 
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