vSphere 6.0 – Embedded PSC vs External PSC

vCenter Server 6 has some fundamental architectural changes compared to vCenter Server Server 5.5. The multitude of components that existed in vCenter Server 5.x has been consolidated in vCenter Server 6 to have only two components vCenter Management Server and Platform Services Controller, formerly vCenter Server Single Sign-On.

  • Platform Services Controller is either Embedded or External to vCenter Server
  • Choosing a mode depends on the size and feature requirements for the environment

Platform Services Controller

vCenter Server Services

·         VMware vCenter Single Sign-On

·         License service

·         Lookup service

·         VMware Directory Services

·         VMware Certificate Authority


·         vCenter Server

·         VMware vSphere Web Client

·         Inventory Service

·         VMware vSphere Auto Deploy

·         VMware vSphere ESXi Dump Collector

·         vSphere Syslog Collector on Windows and vSphere                   Syslog Service for VMware vCenter Server Appliance


Configuration Maximums:

Below is the configuration Maximums of PSC.

Items Maximum
Maximum PSCs per vSphere Domain 8
Maximum PSCs per site, behind a load balancer 4
Maximum objects within a vSphere Domain (Users and Groups) 1,000,000
Maximum tolerance for time skew between PSC nodes 5 minutes
Identity Source
Maximum Active Directory or OpenLDAP Groups per User for best performance 1015
Enhanced Linked Mode/Lookup Service
Maximum number of VMware Solutions connected to a single PSC 4 This limit is based on the test performed using only vCenter
Maximum number of VMware Solutions in a vSphere Domain 10
VMCA/Certificate Server
Maximum number of subordinate Certificate Authority servers in the chain within VMware Certificate Authority 6
Maximum cryptographic hash used for PSC Node certificate 1
Maximum RSA Public Key length used for PSC Node certificate 16,384

vCenter Server with Embedded PSC :

The embedded PSC is meant for standalone sites where vCenter Server will be the only SSO integrated solution. In this case a replication to another PSC is not necessary.

Embedded PSC

vCenter Server with External PSC :

External Platform Services Controller, vCenter Server and the vCenter Server components are deployed on one system, and the services included in the Platform Services Controller are deployed on another system.


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