The Future of vCenter Server is Now

Over the past 18 months VMware has announced several deprecations with regards to vCenter Server.

The Flash based vSphere Web Client and Windows based vCenter Server were first to see their time expiring and this wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone as the HTML5 based vSphere Client began to approach full functionality and the vCenter Server Appliance having been positioned as the preferred version of vCenter Server.

About a year later, VMware announced the deprecation of external Platform Services Controllers. These moves bring simplicity to vCenter Server as a product.

It’s clear that the vision of the product is vCenter Server Appliance, using embedded Platform Services Controller, managed using the HTML5 vSphere Client.

Now time for a brief history lesson…

Starting with vSphere 5.1, and the introduction of Single Sign-On and the vSphere Web Client, vCenter Server became a product that allowed for an installation topology that could be highly distributed or all-in-one (aka embedded). In vSphere 5.1 and 5.5 you had the choice to distribute the Single Sign-On service, Inventory Service, vSphere Web Client, vCenter Server service and all auxiliary services like Update Manager, Auto-Deploy, ESXi Dump Collector and Authentication Proxy on separate Windows servers.

With vSphere 6.0, this distribution was reduced dramatically for the core services into the Platform Services Controller component and the vCenter Server component. vSphere 6.0 also saw an increase in the abilities of the vCenter Server Appliance as it quickly moved towards feature and scalability parity with its Windows counterpart. A special version of 6.0 was released called 6.0 U2m where the ‘m’ denoted migration. Migration was the new ability to migrate a Windows based vCenter Server to a vCenter Server Appliance.

vSphere 6.5 completed the feature and scalability parity story for the vCenter Server Appliance and it became the first choice for many as their vCenter Server platform. The vCenter Server Appliance didn’t just stop at parity with the Windows version, it exceeded the Windows versions with new features like vCenter High Availability and File-Based Backup and Restore as well as a production ready HTML5 based vSphere Client.

vSphere 6.7 continued this trend to further refine and enhance the vCenter Server Appliance. The final hurdle to achieving the goal of vCenter Server Appliance, using embedded Platform Services Controller, managed using the HTML5 vSphere Client, came with vSphere 6.7 Update 1 and the Convergence Tool. This tool allows you to reconfigure your vCenter Server Appliance topology from using an external Platform Services Controller to using an embedded Platform Services Controller (and it even supports that change when using PSC HA).

As outlined in the above deprecation announcements, the next version of vSphere won’t have a Windows based vCenter, external Platform Services Controllers or a Flash based vSphere Web Client.

You can achieve all that today and future proof your vCenter Server deployments ahead of the next release. Migrate to the vCenter Server Appliance, start using the HTML5 based vSphere Client and converge those external Platform Services Controllers.

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