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Mastering VMware vSphere™ 4 by Scott Lowe

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3.1. Introducing vCenter Server

As the size of a virtual infrastructure grows, the ability to manage the infrastructure from a central location becomes significantly more important. vCenter Server is a Windows-based application that serves as a centralized management tool for ESX/ESXi hosts and their respective virtual machines. vCenter Server acts as a proxy that performs tasks on the individual ESX/ESXi hosts that have been added as members of a vCenter Server installation. Although vCenter Server is licensed and sold as an "optional" component in the vSphere product suite, it is required in order to leverage some features of the vSphere product line, and I strongly recommend including it in your environment.

Specifically, vCenter Server offers ...

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