vCenter single sign on (SSO)  vsphere 5.5  release has several improvements, like the following:

  • Completely re-written from the ground
  • Multi-master architecture
  • Native replication mechanism
  • SSO now has site awareness (think of the possibilities for HA stretched clusters)
  • MMC based diagnostic suite available as a separately maintained download
  • The external database and its preparation dependency has been removed
  • Database partitioning to improve both scalability and performance
  • Revamped multi-site deployment architecture
  • Full Mac OS X web client support including remote console
  • Improved certificate management
  • Multi-tenant capabilities
  • Drag ‘n’ Drop in the 5.5 web client

SSO uses manual installation, while installing you install the next gen web client as part of an automated vCenter 5.5 installation but it was not in 5.1. there is a change during installation,  when you click on the Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1 link in windows 2008R2 it installs the feature rather than just throwing up a dialogue box asking you to install the feature yourself.

You have the option to use default or specify the installation location. Good installation practice is to install all vCenter components together so that they can communicate at server bus speed and won’t be impacted by network latency.  Unless when you are running large scale environments, SSO should be isolated on a separate server with five or more vCenter Servers in the environment.

We’re going through the process of installing vCenter version 5.5 but in terms of the SSO component, this is a complete re-write and bears the respective version of 2.0. Note the differences in the deployment models compared to the previous 5.1 version – previous deployment models are honored through an upgrade to 5.5. The System-Domain namespace has been replaced with vsphere.local. After that you will have the new site awareness. This hopefully has simplified the SSO installation in vCenter 5.5.

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