I generally talk about vCenter, but I should actually talk about vCenter and the Platform Services Controller or PSC. It's historical and age that means I talk about the combined services as the vCenter.
In Summary these two bits of software do two different sets of services.
Lets start with the PSC , the PSC provides the following services.
- vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO)
- VMware License Server
- Lookup Service
- VMware Certificate Authority (CA)
- Certificate Store
- VMware Directory Service
The vCenter component provides the following services.
- vCenter Server
- vSphere Web Client (server)
- vSphere Update Manager (VUM)
- VMware vSphere Auto Deploy
- VMware vSphere ESXi Dump Collector
- VMware vSphere Syslog Collector
Fiedhlim O'Leary of VMware has produced a lightboard talking about the ways in which vCenter can be deployed and the considerations for both.