Vcenter Server 6.0 - Planning and Installation

In a previous post we have discussed about what Vmware Vcenter Server is. In this post I'll show you some design consideration and installation process.

VMware Vcenter server can be either physical or VM. Also there is to installation methods for Vcenter server.
  1. Deploying as a Linux based virtual appliance
  2. Install on a windows based OS

Vcenter Server Appliance  

Vcenter server appliance is a preconfigured VM that can be deploy on a Esxi 5.5 later host. It runs on top of Open Suse Linux Enterprise server 11 version with update 3. As the Vcenter server database it uses Postgre SQL embedded database and supports Oracle database as external database when running in enterprise level. The embedded Postgre SQL database can support up to 1000 Hosts and 10000 powered on VMs and 15000 powered off VMs. MS SQL databases are not supported for Vcenter Server appliance.

Vcenter Server on a Windows Server 

Vcenter Server can be installed on a host (either VM or Physical) that running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later. The embedded database which comes with the installer is vFabric Postgres and it support upto 5 hosts and 50VMs.The following Databases are supported as a external database.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • Oracle 11g R2
  • Oracle 12c
The above databases are tested and verified and  supported for Vcenter Server 6.0.

When you are install Vcenter on a Windows server make sure it is a part of a Domain rather than a workgroup and make sure it has a static IP address. 

Ensure Vcenter High Availability 

As we discussed earlier the Vcenter consist two major component,
  1. PSC
  2. Vcenter Server it self
we can install these to component in a single server or install on a two different server. through that we can ensure Vcenter HA. VMware recommend following installation options.

Enhanced linked mode with an  external PSC

This setup doesn't guarantee Vcenter HA. But you can link multiple Vcenter servers with single PSC.

Enhanced linked mode with an  external PSC with Vsphere HA

This deployment method Vcenter servers are configured behind load balancer and configure PSC with that load balancer IP as a Vcenter IP. Also there is a replication between the PSCs and it ensures HA in case of failure of one or more PSC or Vcenter server.

Minimum Requirement for Vcenter Server Windows Host

Vcenter Server with an Embedded PSC

Disk Space - 17GB
CPU - 2

Vcenter Server with an Embedded PSC

  • For Vcenter Server
                RAM - 8GB        
                 Disk Space - 17GB
                CPU - 2
  • For PSC
                RAM - 2GB
                Disk Space - 17GB
                CPU - 2

 Install Vcenter Server on a Windows Host with Embedded PSC 

First you need to download Vcenter Server from VMware which comes as a .iso file. You can simple mount it to your server and run the setup file from there.

 Click Install to begin the installation process.

Click next to continue and then you will see the license agreement.

If you are agree with these terms select the check box and click Next.

Then you need to select deployment type. This windows graphically represent each deployment methods. Choose your preference. Remember that if you wish to go through external deployment method you need to install PSC first and then Vcenter Server. In this case I select Embedded method. Click Next to continue.

System name: this is you server's FQDN and if it is not correct check you server is connected to your domain or not and make sure DNS record is created in your DNS server.

Now this is the most important setting here. If you are planning to adding this server to existing SSO you can connect your Vcenter using second option. If you don't have a SSO domain choose first option and create one here. The default SSO domain is vsphere.local and User will be Administrator. Set Administrator password and click Next.

Vcenter want to install and run some services in your server in order for it's operation. If you wish to use it as a local service then select first option. If you want to specify service account in your domain select second option and give the correct credential. This service account must have appropriate privilege in you domain to install and run these services. 

Now you will be prompted for you Database type. Select it according to your environment.

These are the ports that require for Vcenter operation. If you are behind a firewall make sure to allow traffic for these ports.

If you wish you can change your default installation path from here. After click Next you will see the summary of your configurations made so far and click Install to install your Vcenter Server.

Once your installation finished it will show the confirmation with link to open Vsphere web client.

When you open Vsphere web client it always displays the security warning because Vmware using self sign certificate to this service and your browser see it as a risk. ignore the warning and login to you newly installed Vcenter server using your credentials.( administrator@vsphere.local)


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