As IT professionals – you’ve probably been exposed to some sort of virtualization of the course of the last 15 years plus. And the name that usually comes to mine is: VMWare.
VMWare’s hypervisor [EXSi] is probably at the epicenter of most Fortune 500 Companies DataCenters when it come to virtualization and even on our desktops/laptops, and home labs!
It’s also the epicenter for many VMWare’s solutions such as:
- VCF (vCloud Foundation): https://www.vmware.com/products/cloud-foundation.html
- NSX: https://www.vmware.com/products/nsx.html
- VMC on AWS: https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws
- And more!
But with every virtualized platform we [VMWare] have – we need a central source of management. And with the solutions I mentioned – all of which will require VMWare vCenter Appliance 6.5 or better.
Well in this blog – I’ll go ahead with a fresh install of VMWare’s vCenter Server Appliance 6.7.
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Before installing the VMWare’s vCenter Server Appliance 6.7, some prerequisite are needed. In my opinion the follow are best practices to have in any infrastructure [production and home labs] and are often overlooked:
- An ESXi Server, recommended to have 6.5 of better installed.
- Management Plane with IP space for the vCenter Server Appliance
- NTP Server, Internal
- DNS Server, Internal with an entry for the vCenter Server Appliance
- HTTP Server, Internal to hold scripts, files, code updates, etc.
- vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 ISO. You can get it from here.
- Your host machine’s ‘hosts’ file updated to include the FQDN of the vCenter Server Appliance
NOTE: In order to download the vCenter Server Appliance ISO – you must have a valid MY VMWare account with the required privileges.
Also, if you need to install an NTP, DNS, or HTTP server – you can check out my blogs on them:
The diagram below illustrates connectivity from an abstract perspective:
NOTE: It’s best to have a Server(s) dedicated for MGMT components that is outside of any other virtualization cluster [ i.e. VSAN, HCI, etc.]
Installation of VMWare vCenter 6.7 – Stage 1
After downloading and unzipping the VCSA 6.7 ISO. Navigate to the vsca ui installer folder:
The installation of the vCenter Server Appliance is a lot easier now using the UI installer for whichever platform you’re using to install the vCenter Server Appliance with… I’m using a Windows workstation to go through the installation process.
vcsa-ui-installer —> win32 —>installer
Once the installer process begins, you’re presented with installation options. Since this is a fresh install – the first option is chosen.
Accept the EULA and deployment type, use the default
Insert the IP or FQDN of the host that is assigned to this vCenter. Accept any certificate warnings…
Name your appliance, root password
You’ll need to determine your deployment size. I’ll keep the deployment size: Tiny. I don’t think I’ll ever have my lab run over 10 servers and 100 VMs… Well… we’ll see what happens in the future.
Chose the DataStore and Enable thin Disk Mode
Fill in the required settings
Review and finish
Now Initialization begins
If you’re hung at 80% or so. You may want to check:
- DNS record name – recommend not to use mixed case in system names or DNS records. You should use lowercase. Sometimes case mismatch causes failures of various sorts (including certificate issues).
- NTP must be used when going through the appliance deployment. Your ESXi host must have its time set correctly and the workstation from which you’re running the installer wizard must be pointed at the same NTP server to correctly in sync. You should point your vCenter Server at the same time source to ensure the host and vCenter are in sync.
Check the following blog post if you’re stuck a 80% during the deployment:
After 15mins, more or less – the vCenter Server Appliance install Stage 1 will completed and it can be seen powered up. Then you can move onto Stage 2.
Installation of VMWare vCenter 6.7 – Stage 2
Make sure SSH is enabled and time sync with ESXi Host.
Set the SSO information
You can accept the CEIP if you like 😊
Review and finish
Accept the Warning and Stage 2 will proceed.
After about 20min this is what is seen:
And now the vCenter Server Appliance has been installed successfully. We can now go and log into the appliance.
Accessing vCenter Server Appliance
Let’s go to the URL and choose a client option
Choose FLEX and you’ll see the new look interface log in 🙂
And you’ll see the familiar web client as seen in 6.5
In choosing the HTML5 version, its more sleek dashboard’sque – which is pretty cool!
NOTE: The UI client, from what I’ve seen, doesn’t have as many options as with the native web client, so continue to use the web interface for your configurations
Now that VMWare vCenter Server Appliance 6.7 is completely installed and functioning – you can begin to Create your DataCenter, Datacenter Clusters, add your hosts, and begin to build out your Virtualized Infrastructure and your Journey to Agility!