what is VMware vCenter Server ?

centralized management utility for all ESX/ESXi hosts and their respective virtual machines

its like windows active directory no exactly the same

vCenter Server is a Windows-based (vCenter Server for Linux is also there),
database-driven application that allows IT administrators to deploy, manage, monitor, automate,
and secure a virtual infrastructure in an almost effortless fashion

The back-end database
(Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle) that vCenter Server uses stores all the data about the hosts and
virtual machines.

Editions of VMware vCenter Server
vCenter Server Essentials (small office)
vCenter Server Standard (all features)
vCenter Server Foundation (same as standard but limited to managingn three ESX/ESXi hosts.)

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