We use the vCenter Server Appliance which is an all in one SUSE Linux based appliance that is setup to run vCenter server in small environments.There are a few limitations with the appliance and they include
- Embedded database – 5 hosts & 50 Virtual Machines
- No update Manager
- vSphere Storage appliance is not supported
- vSphere converter stand alone is not supported
- vCli is not supported
- vPowerCLI is not supported because you need PowerShell which is only available in windows
Even with these limitations the appliance is perfect for the SMB market. If you need more you can hook it up to an Oracle database.
Like many people out there using VMware vCenter Server Appliance you might want to use a CA certified SSL certificate on your server. VMware does have a great document on how to prepare your server for CA signed certificates in which it highlights that wildcard SSL is not supported. It’s got a great step by step guide on how to do this. It does have a few steps that were difficult to understand because it references file system layouts that aren’t explained. I found the missing links after reading a post by Doug Baer that gives a really straightforward explanation of how to go about setting up the SSL certificates. I would recommend Doug’s article over the VMware one. It turns out you have to create 7 yes SEVEN CSR’s to get the certificates for the appliance. I think I’ll be skipping using CA Certified certificates for now.