Up until now (from vSphere 5.5), the VCSA ran on SLES, with the latest running on SLES 11. Starting with vSphere 6.5, the vCenter Server Appliance is now running VMware’s own Photon OS, which is a Minimal Linux Container Host, optimized for running on the VMware platform.
Why is this important?
This was a great move by VMware to help simplify support and maintenance, OS/Appliance lifecycle, and streamline updates and patches. VMware no longer has to rely on SUSE Linux when trying to fine-tune the applications and dependencies, release any sort of updates, and there will now be more of a consistency that will begin to happen across VMware’s products.
As we focus on simplifying the vSphere lifecycle, this is a simple, yet important element to change.
So what else should I know?
VCSA is running a Postgres database. It also has a management UI at port :5480 which will allow you to monitor the database utilization and size along with CPU and Memory.
A few more perks of using Photon OS:
- The OS comes pre-hardened
- > 80% reduction in disk space for OS
- 3-4x reduction in kernel boot time vs. general-purpose kernel
- and more!