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Dell VxRail Architecture Overview

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VxRail and VMware vCenter Server version and deployment comparisons

Features are supported differently depending on the VxRail version and the VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter Server that are deployed.

Multicluster management

There are no restrictions on a customer-managed VMware vCenter Server managing multiple VxRail clusters. However, the VxRail cluster must be running version 7.0.130 or later to enable the VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server it is hosting to support managing multiple VxRail clusters.

For planning purposes, the VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server by default is configured for small environments, which can support up to 100 hosts or 1000 VMs.

When performing life cycle management in a multicluster environment, perform LCM on the VxRail cluster that is hosting the VMware vCenter Server instance first, then perform LCM on the VxRail cluster this VMware vCenter Server instance manages.

When performing a series of cluster shutdown operations, shut down the clusters under management first. Shut down the cluster hosting the VMware vCenter Server instance last.

When performing cluster startup, go in the reverse direction, and power on the cluster hosting the VMware vCenter Server instance first.

Figure 1. VMware vCenter Server instances managing multiple clusters
VMware vCenter Server instances managing multiple clusters

VMware vCenter Server hosting

A customer-managed VMware vCenter Server can be deployed on or migrated to a VxRail cluster. If the customer-managed VMware vCenter Server instance is managing the VxRail cluster on which it resides, migrate the VMware vCenter Server manually off the cluster you are shutting down to maintain connectivity to the VMware vCenter Server instance.

If the customer-managed VMware vCenter Server instance is not managing the VxRail cluster on which it resides, manually power off the VMware vCenter Server instance before using the VxRail cluster shutdown feature.

VMware vCenter Server mode conversion

A VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server can be converted so that VxRail Manager identifies it as a customer-managed VMware vCenter Server. If the VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server is converted to a customer-managed VMware vCenter Server, you cannot convert it back to a VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server.

After the conversion process, you are responsible for providing a permanent VMware vCenter Server license. Since this VMware vCenter Server is no longer a VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server, the converted VMware vCenter Server must be shut down and migrated off the cluster to maintain connectivity and perform a cluster shutdown operation.

VxRail LCM does not support upgrades of customer-managed VMware vCenter Server instances after the conversion. You are responsible for all upgrades and maintenance to the VMware vCenter Server instance.

Manually upgrade the converted VMware vCenter Server to the appropriate version before LCM is performed on the hosting VxRail cluster.

VMware Enhanced Link Mode

VMware Enhanced Linked Mode (ELM) allows you to log in to any single instance of VMware vCenter Server and view and manage the inventories of all the VMware vCenter Server in the group. Up to 15 VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server instances can be linked.

VMware ELM is only supported between VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server. VMware ELM is not supported between a customer-managed VMware vCenter Server and a VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server.

VMware ELM is supported in VxRail 7.x and 8.x clusters only. VxRail clusters running VxRail 7.0.100 or later can enable VMware ELM during the VxRail initial build process. VxRail clusters running VxRail 7.0.200 or later can enable VMware ELM between VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Server as a Day 2 operation after VxRail initial build is completed.

To use VMware ELM, all VxRail versions should be the same.

For more information about the VMware vCenter Server prerequisites, see VMware vCenter Server Enhanced Linked Mode.

Figure 2. VxRail-managed VMware vCenter Servers connected with ELM
VxRail-managed vCenters connected with ELM

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