VMware vSphere 6.5 is finally general available and everyone who wants can download and install on their dev/test/prod environments. I’ve been working with vCenter Server for many years, but always the preferred corporate platform was Windows, so I was using the windows based vCenter. With version 6.5 there are lots of improvements in the linux based appliance and I wanted to share my installation and configuration experience.
First of all, the appliance is not delivered in a typical virtual appliance format (OVA or OVF) but in ISO format. You must download the ISO and mount it on a machine, preferably as close as possible to the datacenter, and run the installer. There are two types of installation available – GUI and CLI based for Linux, Mac and Windows.
I will go through the Windows Based GUI installation, since I want to install just one vCenter Server. If you plan to do more, you can script it via the CLI version.
To start the installation, you should run the installer.exe located at \vcsa-ui-installer\win32
From the first screen you get more information that the installation is divided in two groups – deploy the appliance and then configure it.
EULA and Accept it in order to continue.
You can still put the PSC on the same place as the vCenter Server or you can install them separately, as it was so far with the previously vCenter 6 releases. I will use the embedded one, since I don’t target any flexibility.
You should specify a location for the appliance deployment – ESXi host or another vCenter
You can choose the name of the VM which will be created in inventory of the specified previously ESXi host or vCenter Sever and root password.
There are several deployment sizes. You choose according your environment size. For PoC and testing, I will use the Tiny one which is just 2vCPU and 10GB of RAM.
Choose the datastore where the appliance will be stored. In my case I have just one, so there is no a real choice.
Configure your network settings. You can switch to DHCP or IPv6 from here if you want to use it.
Quick summary and you are ready to go for the deployment. How much it will take depends on the bandwidth and load of the infrastructure where you deploy it.
In my case it took around 15-20 minutes.
Once you complete the deployment phase successfully, you can continue to the configuration phase.
Again you get some information of what is next.
You have two options for time syncing, which as usual is a critical competent for vSphere. I will use the ESXi synchronization feature, but you can also use external or corporate NTP servers. You can also specify if you want SSH enabled or not. If you leave it disabled, you can always enable in the future if needed.
SSO configuration include domain name, administrator password and site name. I’m using vSphere.local since I already got used to it from the time when we couldn’t change it in vSphere 5.5
If you vCenter Server has internet access you can participate in CEIP.
Summary and you are ready to go.
DNS is very crucial during the configuration, so be sure you have a valid DNS record for the vCenter hostname and DNS server is properly configured.
As the last step, you can use Flash or HTML5 client to manage your new vCenter Server 6.5. Unfortunanly HTML5 is just partly functioning.
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