I am currently working on a redesign of out VMWare vSphere environment. Currently vCenter is running on Windows with and embedded PSC. It is also using an external SQL database that is managed by an DBA. I wanted to get this design up to date using best practices, and to also get away from using the external SQL database. I have two data centers one is for “production” and the second is for “Disaster Recovery”. To create high availability the each side will have its on vCenter connected to two PSC’s. They will be load balanced with an F5. Here is a quick high level design I created.
To set this up I had to first deploy the two PSC’s for the production data center. I then setup load balancing with the F5 following this KB.
Now that the new environment is all setup I connect the two vCenter together using Enhance Link Mode. This will allow me to manage both vCenter’s from one location and to do vMotions between the two vCenters. To start the migration of host and VM’s to the new vCenter I must first set the distributed port groups to ephermal. You can read more about ephemeral ports from Chris Wahl and from VMWare KB. Doing this will allow the host to control the binding of ports instead of vCenter. I will also duplicate my Distributed Switch structure in the new vCenter.
Now that all of this is done I can disconnect a host, and then reconnect it to the new vCenter. Then I will use the distributed switch migrate all the VM’s to the new Distributed Switch. I will also have to reinstall all my plugins and recreate my folder structure. Once everything is moved over everything is done with no down time.