Using vApps for Better vSphere Management
A vSphere vApp allows packaging of multiple interoperating virtual machines and software applications that you can manage as a unit and distribute in OVF format.
A vApp can contain one or more virtual machines, but any operation carried out on the vApp, such as clone or power off, affects all virtual machines in the vApp container,From the vSphere Web Client, you can access the vApp summary page with the current status of the vApp, and you can manage the vApp.
— VMware Virtual Machine Administration Guide
One best practice is to have a vCenter vApp. There are several reasons that this makes very, very good sense as a best practice:
- After a downtime event, planned or otherwise, you want vCenter up as quickly as possible, but not without things like a domain controller, Nexus 1000v etc. So you can set the vApp to autostart after a power failure (provided you also have a DRS rule to run to keep the VMs on the same host).
- With services dependencies, like a Nexus 1000v as shown below, the VSM ideally needs to power on before vCenter, and the vApp makes this possible.
- When used in conjunction with DRS, vApps make it easier to troubleshoot connectivity issues; if you have 6 hosts, where is your vCenter and domain controller? The vApp groups them logically, but DRS groups them physically.
I love it when a plan comes together.