Most enterprises tend to use multiple vCenter Servers to manage their virtualized infrastructure. My environment has around 100+ vCenter Servers to manage the virtual infrastructure. It is a cumbersome task to manage and maintain the configuration of multiple vCenter Servers in the environment. Prior to vSphere 7.0, there was no centralized configuration tool to centrally manage and apply the same configuration across the multiple vCenter Servers in the environment to maintain consistency. vSphere 7.0 offers a new feature called "vCenter Server profiles" to maintain configurations across called multiple vCenter Servers in the virtualized environment.
Latest posts by Mohammed Raffic (see all)

What is a vCenter Server 7.0 profile? ^

vCenter Server profiles allow us to import and export the vCenter Server configuration via REST APIs, including management, network, authentication, and user configurations. The exported configurations are stored in an easily readable JSON file and can be imported to other vCenter Servers. These profiles can maintain version control between vCenter Servers, so that you can propagate the exported configurations to multiple vCenter Servers. As of now, the maximum supported number of vCenter Servers is 100.

The vCenter Server profile simplifies setup and change management and provides easy detection of noncompliance configs, automated remediation, and configuration data in a user-readable format that empowers today's vSphere administrators. You can easily revert to the last known good configuration by importing the profiles.

vCenter Server profile REST APIs ^

vCenter Server profiles comprise four REST APIs: List, Export, Validate, and Import. As of the initial release of vSphere 7.0, there is no UI for vCenter profiles. The REST APIs can be consumed with DCLI, PowerCLI, or other automation tools (Ansible, Puppet, Chef, etc.). All APIs are also available in the developer center under API Explorer.

vCenter Server profile REST APIs

vCenter Server profile REST APIs

As a first step, you can configure all the necessary configurations and settings for one of the vCenter Servers. This can act as the "golden template" of configurations for all other vCenter Servers in the environment.

You can export the vCenter Server profile (appliance configurations, network configurations, and users and privileges) from the source vCenter Server. That profile configuration can then be reviewed for needed changes.

Export vCenter Server profiles

Export vCenter Server profiles

 

The vCenter Server profile can be modified to suit the administrator's needs. Once a new version of the profile is created with modifications, it can then be used to propagate the modifications to other vCenter Servers. You can ​selectively export/import the configuration to the other vCenter Servers.

For example, for some vCenter Servers, you can import only the appliance and network configurations and for other vCenter Servers, you can apply all the configurations such as appliance, network, and user configurations. So you can choose to apply only the necessary configurations required for the vCenter Server from the exported profiles.

Selectively export and import vCenter configuration

Selectively export and import vCenter configuration

​You can also validate the configuration against a target vCenter Server using the Validate REST API. vCenter Server profile validation allows the changes from the source vCenter Server to be checked against the target vCenter Server for inconsistencies or errors. A response of "valid" or "invalid" is returned. Validation returns the config error information and resolution for each invalid setting, if any.

vCenter Profile validation

vCenter Profile validation

Where to find the REST APIs? ^

You can easily find all the APIs for vCenter Server profiles in the developer center, under API Explorer.  Select the appliance from the drop-down list under the Select API option, and search the term "profile" to quickly find the vCenter Server profile APIs.

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vCenter Developer Center

vCenter Developer Center

Conclusion ^

I hope this article will help you to understand the vCenter Server profile feature, released with VMware vSphere 7.0.

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1 Comment
  1. Hello Mohammed,

    may I ask why do you need 100+ vCenters? I have never heared of such excessive usage even when I worked for companies with thousands of VMs and hosts..

    Cheers 🙂

    +1

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