VMware vCenter Server is "THE" management system for your VMware vSphere private cloud It's used to manage your clusters of ESXi servers, configure HA, DRS and vMotion, manage your virtual networks and their interfaces to the physical network. Its also used to provison storage (maybe even integrated with your SAN) and create virtual machines, including templates and other wonderful things.
So whats the requirements for VMware vCenter server?!... Well firstly it CAN be either virtual or physical and its supported on either.
Also note that a 64-Bit DSN is required to access the vCenter database.
Minimum requirements for the vCenter Server are as follows:
Two 64-bit CPUs or one 64-bit dual-core processor (2.0 GHz or faster)
4GB RAM - If only vCenter Server installed on this server.
10GB RAM - If vCenter Server, vCenter Single Sign-On, and vCenter Inventory Service are installed on the same server.
Note: Also add 2GB RAM if your running SQL Server express or SQL installed locally on this server.
Disk storage:
4GB - If only vCenter Server installed on this server.
60 to 100GB - If vCenter Server, vCenter Single Sign-On, and vCenter Inventory Service are installed on the same server.
Note: Disk requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.
Operating System:
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2 64-bit (Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 64-bit (Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter)
  • Windows Server 2008 SP1 64-bit (Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter)
  • Note: Windows Server 2012 is not yet supported to run vCenter Server at time of writing (however its supported as a guest OS running in vSphere 5.1)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008 Express (Note: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express is intended for use with small deployments of up to 5 hosts and/or 50 virtual machines)
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP4 32-bit
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP4 64-bit
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2+ 32-bit
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2+ 64-bit
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 32-bit
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 64-bit
  • Plus other Oracle and IBM DB2 databases (see matrixes)
For detailed OS and Database information please refer to the Host OS section of the VMware vSphere Compatibility Matrix and the VMware Product Interoperability Matrixes.
The following is used in this walkthrough installation of vCenter Server 5:
Windows Server 2008 Standard R2 64-Bit
SQL Server 2008 R2 (remote DB)

1. Now your vCenter Inventory Service has completed, your back at the initial autorun installer launchpad click "vCenter Server".


2. The vCenter Server installer will start, Click Next.




3. Read the license agreement, accept and click Next.




4. Enter your license (if you don't it will run in a 60 full eval). Click Next.




5. If deploying a small scale deployment (5 hosts and upto 50 VMs) you can choose to use SQL Server 2008 Express.

If using an full SQL server installation (either local or remote), create a 64-bit DSN and choose to use an existing database.

Click Next.




5. Enter the credentials for your ODBC connection.




6. Choose to run the vCenter service under the "SYSTEM" account or recommended user-specified account.

This can be a standard active directory account with local administrator rights on the vCenter server.

The account will be grated "Log on as a service" right on the server.

Click Next.




7. As this will be the first vCenter installation choose "Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server Instance".

You would create linked mode vCenter servers if you have muliple vCenter servers, most likley if you were deploying a vCenter at two different datacenters for use with Site Recovery Manager.

Click Next.




8. Verify the ports to use for vCenter server, change if required (I recommend keeping the defaults unless you have a very specific reason).

Click Next.




9. Select your deployment inventory size to correctly size the JVM memory for vCenter server web services.




10. Enter your vCenter Single Sign On administrator credentials ([email protected]) to register the vCenter Server with vCenter SSO.

Also enter the lookup service URL (e.g. https://vcenter1.vmadmin.local:7444/lookupservice/sdk)




11. Register the Administrators user group  with vCenter Single Sign On (make sure the user group box is ticked). This way anyone that is a local administrator on this server can access it (inc domain admins).




12. Ensure the correct vCenter Inventory Service address is entered. Here we are installing this on the same server as vCenter server.

E.g. https://vcenter1.vmadmin.local:10443




13. Change your installation location if required. Click Next.




14. Click Install and get yourself a coffee!




15. The installation of vCenter server will complete, Click Finish.


Next up is to install the vSphere Client so we can connect to the vCenter Server..









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