Starting with vSphere 6, there are two main roles to a core vCenter infrastructure. The vCenter Server (VC) and the Platform Services Controller (PSC). During deployment, administrators are presented with two deployment options:
- Embedded. With an embedded deployment, the VC and PSC roles are installed on the same node
- External. With an external deployment, the PSC and VC roles are installed onto separate nodes. External deployment also enables the enhanced linked mode feature for vCenter Server
Prior to 6.0U1, you had the ability to repoint a VC node to another PSC within the same vSphere SSO site using vmafd-cli. See VMware KB 2113917 for the steps. You could not repoint the VC node to a PSC in a different SSO site, even if it was in the same SSO domain.
Starting with 6.0U1, some more options were made available to us by using a new utility named cmsso-util:
- Reconfigure an embedded deployment to an external deployment
- Repoint the VC node in an external deployment to another PSC within the same SSO domain, whether it is in the same site or not
As of vSphere 6.0U2, the limitation for repointing a VC node to another PSC is still within the same vSphere SSO domain.
If you are running a build later than 6.0U1 and want to perform the repoint of VC to another PSC within the same SSO site, you could use vmafd-cli as per KB2113917, but it is easier and recommended to use cmsso-util as the steps are automated.
Thanks to Adam Eckerle at VMware for clarifying a few points for me.
Edit 21/11/2016: Please note that in vSphere 6.5 the ability to repoint a VC server to a PSC in another vSphere SSO site is not supported. See this post for details
Performing a Reconfigure or Repoint using cmsso-util
I’m going to link off to separate posts on how to perform either the reconfigure or the repoint option provided with cmsso-util:
Note: The steps outlined in these articles are specifically for the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA). VCSA is the preferred deployment model by VMware and as announced at VMworld 2016, it looks like enhancements will come to the VCSA that will not come to the traditional Windows deployment, so the VCSA is what I run in the lab unless I specifically need a windows installation for a task.
- Reconfigure Embedded vCenter to External PSC
- This article also goes into some detail regarding vSphere certificates, as by default these were generated by the PSC node that is decommissioned after you follow the process to externalise the PSC role
- Repoint vCenter to another external PSC, either in the same or different SSO site
- This article walks through repointing VC to a PSC in the same SSO domain, whether it is in the same site or a different site