VMware vSphere 6.5 Series (Part 5) – VCSA vCenter Install

VMware vSphere 6.5 Series

This is my first attempt at a series and I decided to make it about vSphere 6.5.  I’ll be covering as many new components and features of vSphere 6.5 as possible here so sit back and enjoy!

VCSA vCenter Install – Stage 1

The next two entries in this series are going to cover deploying and configuring the VCSA vCenter Server.  The previous two articles detailed deploying the VCSA Platform Services Controller and getting the necessary permissions set.  The VCSA PSC was deployed as external in this case so we will be deploying the VCSA vCenter without an embedded PSC.

Just like with the VCSA PSC there are two parts to the VCSA vCenter Server deployment.  Stage 1 covers the Install of the vCenter Server itself.  Stage 2 covers the configuration of the vCenter Server after it’s been deployed.  Stage 2 sets the NTP settings and applies the vCenter Server settings to the appliance and starts the services.  The final steps of the configuration will be in the next article.

The previous articles cover how to mount the installer and what files to run so I’ll skip that here.  We start the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Installer up and click the Install button again.

VCSA vCenter Install

The Installer explains we’re on Stage 1 and we click Next to continue.

VCSA vCenter Install

After reading the EULA put a check in the box and click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

Now we must select the deployment type.  We select vCenter Server (Requires External Platform Services Controller) and click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

On the Appliance Deployment target section we have to specify the ESXi host or vCenter server we want to deploy the VCSA vCenter Server on.  We must specify the IP or Hostname, HTTPS port as well as Username and Password.  If you are targeting an ESXi host enter the IP, default port of 443 and the root account as username and the password.  Here I’ve filled in the required information specific to my lab and I click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

The installer will now connect to the host and we get a certificate warning.  This is expected behavior because the host is using the default self-signed certificate.  Click Yes here to accept the certificate as trusted and continue.

VCSA vCenter Install

Here it asks us to put a VM name to the VCSA vCenter Server appliance which I’ve entered as well as a password for the root account on the appliance.  Click Next to continue.

VCSA vCenter Install

The VCSA vCenter Server deployment differs here and asks you to Select deployment size.  The Deployment size selection determines how many vCPUs and how much memory the appliance will be configured for.  The Storage size setting determines how much storage space will be allocated to the virtual disks of the appliance.

There’s also a handy section that details how these 2 settings determine what size of environment you’re deploying for by the number of hosts and VM’s each is able to support.  For my lab I’ll be using the Tiny vCenter setting and the Default Storage size setting because I have less than 10 hosts and 100 VM’s.  Click Next to continue.

VCSA vCenter Install

On the Select datastore section we pick the datastore where you want the appliance to live.  There are some considerations here for storage sizing depending on your environment which you can read more about here.  The appliance storage needs may vary depending on the size of your virtual environment.  In this case I only have one datastore in use and it has plenty of space allocated so I pick it and click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

On this page we must enter all the network settings for the appliance.  The first setting is the Network option which is pulled from preconfigured port groups on my host.  In this case I chose the Server VLAN.  I’m using IPv4 so I leave IP version option as is.  On IP Assignment I am using a static IP so it stays as is.  I enter the System name which in this case is the full FQDN that I want to name the appliance.  I also entered the IP address, Subnet mask, Default Gateway and DNS servers here as well.  We previously configured the necessary DNS settings so we shouldn’t see any errors as we did in the previous article while deploying the VCSA PSC.  To continue click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

The last portion of Stage 1 shows us all the options we just selected for verification.  Once you are certain these are the settings you want to go with click Finish to start the deployment.

VCSA vCenter Install

These screenshots demonstrate what happens in the 5 to 10 minutes it typically takes to deploy the VCSA appliance.  Click each one to see a larger version.

The VCSA vCenter Server appliance is now deployed.  The appliance is up and running but is partially configured.  On to Stage 2!

VCSA vCenter Install

VCSA vCenter Install – Stage 2

Stage 2 requires less interaction than Stage 1.  On Stage 2 we are configuring NTP, connecting to the VCSA PSC’s SSO Domain and confirming the settings input previously.  We’re presented with a green check and a grayed out Stage 1 indicating we’ve completed the first portion.  No options to select here, just click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

We need to select the Time synchronization mode, add NTP servers and determine whether you want to enable SSH access.  I’m going to Synchronize time with NTP servers.  I’ve listed the NTP servers I wish to use, separated by a comma.  I’ve also opted for SSH access to be Enabled by default.  Of note here if you want to use vCenter Server High Availability (HA) you must select Enabled for SSH access.  Time to click Next.

VCSA vCenter Install

In a previous article we deployed and configured the VCSA Platform Services Controller and created a new SSO Domain.  On the SSO Configuration section we input the external Platform Services Controller’s FQDN, HTTPS port default of 443, SSO Domain Name, SSO user name and SSO password.  In our case we determined all of these settings in a previous article.  Input the proper settings and click Next to continue.

VCSA vCenter Install

Again we’re presented with a page to confirm our previous choices.  Make sure you’ve got everything set correctly here and click Finish.  If you’ve set any of these incorrectly you’re likely to be redeploying the VCSA vCenter Server again because it either won’t successfully complete the installer, or it may not be accessible.

VCSA vCenter Install

A final warning comes up indicating that you can’t stop this process.  Click Ok to continue.

VCSA vCenter Install

This process starts all the necessary services and applies your chosen configuration onto the appliance.

The VCSA vCenter Server appliance has been deployed and configured successfully.  There are 2 links on the Complete page.  The first goes directly to the vSphere Web Client where you can manage vCenter.  The 2nd link takes you to the Getting Started page.

VCSA vCenter Install

In Conclusion

We have deployed the VCSA vCenter Server appliance.  In this article we walked through Stage 1 where we determined the basic configuration settings for the VCSA vCenter Server appliance and deployed the appliance to a host.  In Stage 2 we configured the NTP settings and connected the appliance to our existing Platform Services Controller.

In the final article in this series I’ll give a quick tour of the fully deployed vCenter Server.  We’ll add licensing, create a Datacenter, create a cluster, add hosts, apply licensing and enable HA and DRS.  Thanks for reading!

Series Navigation<< VMware vSphere 6.5 Series (Part 4) – VCSA PSC ConfigurationVMware vSphere 6.5 Series (Part 6) – VCSA vCenter Configuration >>

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