We have an ESX HA cluster with about 200 virtual machines. We use two dedicated physical machines in HA for the vCenter server. We want to move these already existing physical servers to virtual machines. Besides some cost savings, are there other advantages to migrate vCenter to a virtual server? Are there any disadvantages?
The benefit of having a physical machine to run vCenter server is you don't need the ESX infrastructure to be available before you can access a vCenter server. That seems like an advantage, but it's of limited use.
If the ESX cluster isn't available but the vCenter server still is, it's useless. You might as well install the vCenter server as a virtual machine -- or a virtual appliance -- to increase the flexibility of your data center. This will be especially helpful if you ever need to fail over an entire site, when it would be beneficial to have all resources available as virtual resources.
This was first published in October 2013