VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 – Install and Configure

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.

0

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

1

From the first screen you get more information that the installation is divided in two groups – deploy the appliance and then configure it.

2

EULA and Accept it in order to continue.

3

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.

4

You should specify a location for the appliance deployment – ESXi host or another vCenter

5

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.

6

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.

7

Choose the datastore where the appliance will be stored. In my case I have just one, so there is no a real choice.

8

Configure your network settings. You can switch to DHCP or IPv6 from here if you want to use it.

9

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.

10

In my case it took around 15-20 minutes.

11

Once you complete the deployment phase successfully, you can continue to the configuration phase.

12

Again you get some information of what is next.

13

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.

14

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

15

If you vCenter Server has internet access you can participate in CEIP.

16

Summary and you are ready to go.

17

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.

18

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.

19

 

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Nikolay Nikolov

VDI Engineer
Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.

Latest posts by Nikolay Nikolov (see all)

About Nikolay Nikolov

Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.
Bookmark the permalink.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great post Nikolay! Really helpful when I tried to install the vCenter appliance. My installation took much longer time at the end of Stage 1. It is kind stuck there at 81% setting up storage.

    • Hi Steve,
      I’m glad that you like the post. Do you have enough free space on the datastore where you deploy the appliance? If yes, maybe you can try to download it one more time from vmware just to be sure that the installation binaries are not corrupted from your previous download. Also you can try to deploy it from a PC or virtual one which is closer to the ESXi or vCenter where you deploy the new appliance. I’ve used one which is basically in the same LAN and the deployment phase was very quick (~10mins).
      Hope you will be able to get it installed and have fun with it.
      Thanks!

    • I have exactly the same problem it stuck at 81%, did you find a solution? I have tried it to deploy it from a PC closer to esxi, and from one PC which is outside the network. But it does not work. I cannot understand… If anyone have found a solution please tell! Thank you in advance!

  2. Pingback: vSphere 6.5 Link-O-Rama » Welcome to vSphere-land!

  3. Thanks for posting, it helped a bunch!

  4. It is possible, and seemingly common that if you are installing an External PSC that the transition from Stage 1 to Stage 2 will fail and the Installer Exits. Just bring up a supported browser and connect to: https://:5480 to continue with the configuration.

Comments are closed