A few days ago I posted vCenter 5 - To Appliance or Not? talking about using the virtual appliance. I'm glad that article has been popular because it's a very important decision to make as you move forward with vSphere 5. As I move forward with my choice of using the original Windows installer, here are some design considerations to keep in mind.
During my beta testing for vSphere 5, i stuck the vCenter ISO into my existing vCenter and started going install crazy. I upgraded vCenter to version 5, installed auto-deploy, log collector, web services, update manager, and the whole shabang. It wasn't until one day when I had to reboot my vCenter VM that everything became clear. Upon reboot, my vCenter service failed to start.
I took a gander at the logs thinking it would be a DB miscommunication and there was an entry with something along the lines of failure to lock a socket. It makes perfect sense. vCenter services depend on port 80 and I installed vCenter Web Services which also defaults to port 80. Since vCenter Web Services was already in use of port 80, the service wouldn't start. I stopped all the IIS services and restarted the vCenter service and all was well again. Therefore, I started to think of what the best design practice should be for vCenter components.