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  • 1.  Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 14, 2010 06:34 PM

    So we're planning to start rolling out dual ESXi servers to our remote offices for a redundant solution that would consolidate servers and allow for easier management. We have a robust WAN infrastructure already in place and I was planning to simply use Standard Licensing for each ESXi box and then manage it using our vCenter at HQ. While discussing this scenario with a vmware rep, I was told to use a product called ROBO > http://www.vmware.com/solutions/remoteoffice

    Sounded great until I got the price quote? I started scratching my head wondering why anyone would want to pay a premium for something that could conceivably be done for 1/2 the price using Standard licensing. I was later told that there is no technical reason why I could not manage these servers across the WAN, but that instead, it was a Licensing issue that would prohibit me from doing so. Anyone heard such a thing before? This just sounds nuts to me and may actually get me to jump ship to Hyper-V (at least for remote offices).



  • 2.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 14, 2010 06:49 PM

    but that instead, it was a (VM Ware) Licensing issue that would prohibit me from doing so

    Sounds like the Microsoft Hyper-V campaign slogan.. :smileyhappy:

    Anyone heard such a thing before?

    Heard of what, that a company wants to make you buy extra stuff, that if you want to license more than one instance of their product you actually have to PAY for privilege? That's not new, unless you were born yesterday.. This is Corporate America at it's best.. shouldn't be news really.

    If you have the infrastructure, why would you want to complicate your life by having multiple vCenters to manage. That to me would be worse.



  • 3.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 14, 2010 08:22 PM

    Maybe I wasn't clear. What I'm being told is that I cannot use my existing vCenter instance to manage ESX Hosts that do not reside within the same office. For example, if my vcenter server is located in my Atlanta office, I can "only" use it to manage ESX Hosts within that "same" office. I certainly do "not" want multiple vcenter servers.



  • 4.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 15, 2010 12:47 PM

    That doesn't seem right. You're not running the Essentials package, are you? If its standard vSphere licensing, I wasn't aware of any site restrictions in the EULA... ask your rep for the specific terms that limit you. You should be able to manage remote hosts just fine from a single vCenter server.

    Also, as far as I understand, ROBO isn't a product but a "solution." Its VMware's platform for virtualizing all services... servers, workstations, etc at remote sites. Basically its bolting View to your hosted server environment. If all you're looking to do is manage virtual servers remotely, you don't need to license View. And yes, that gets expensive!

    Regards,

    J



  • 5.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted Oct 15, 2010 01:01 PM

    It comes down to poking holes in your firewall and also the amount of WAN traffic you will end up with. Unless you want to saturate your WAN and have a swiss cheese firewall, I wouldn't recommend this. You can have multiple vCenters and use linked mode to control all your server from one console. This will save you A LOT of head aches.

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  • 6.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 15, 2010 01:22 PM

    Yes, it's vCenter Standard and you're right, it's simply not correct. I broke out the VCP ICM manual last night and on page 100 it clearly shows and states that a standard vcenter server can manage datacenters around the world. dvdmorera, regarding the WAN saturation argument, c'mon, this is 2010 and we have multi Gbps links to all sites so the occasional management of a few remote ESX servers is not going to cause anything close to saturation. Also, these sites are all within our MPLS WAN so there are no serious firewall restrictions between sites.

    I've asked our vendor to reach out to another vmware rep for clarification. I think this one is just confused. I'll let you know the outcome.

    thanks!



  • 7.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 15, 2010 01:33 PM

    I've never heard of this before either, and I've got several hundred ESX hosts talking back to centralized vCenters. Double-checking with your rep is always a good thing, and I worked fairly closely to ours getting the licensing worked out for us. Hopefully they won't come asking for more after this post. :smileyhappy:

    vExpert

    VMware Communities Moderator

    vmwise.com / @vmwise

    -KjB



  • 8.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted Oct 15, 2010 01:39 PM

    @KjB. Congrats on passing your VCAP. I'm still going through blueprint...

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    A+, DCSE, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP, MCDBA, NCDA, VCP4

    If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful.



  • 9.  RE: Using vCenter at HQ to manage remote office ESXi servers?

    Posted Oct 15, 2010 08:17 PM

    OK Guys, spoke with a higher level vmware rep today and got some clarification. The other rep was indeed confused as there is no restriction for using vcenter standard to manage remote ESX servers. The whole ROBO concept is still a little fuzzy, but it appears to be a package deal that gives you a 10 pack of Essentials Plus so depending on what you plan to deploy at the remote sites and how many remote sites you have, the ROBO kit may be lower cost option. For example, if you only have 5 remote sites that each have a single ESX Host (w/ single CPU), you would be better off purchasing 5 standard licenses for ~$1275 each (w/ basic support), but if you have 20 remote offices and plan to deploy up to three Dual CPU Hosts in each office, you're better off buying the ROBO 10 packs, which will end up costing you around $4K per office vs. $7K per office if using standard (per cpu) licensing w/ basic support.

    Cheers!