HOW TO: Install and Configure the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 5.5

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
EE Fellow, MVE, Expert of the Year 2021,2017-11, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2022-2011
In this tutorial article, I will show you how to install and configure the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 5.5 on an ESXi 5.5 Host Server in just four easy steps.

I'm afraid the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) download is only available to Licensed users of VMware vCenter Server, and is not available as a 60 day evaluation. Only VMware vCenter Server for Windows is available as a 60 day evaluation, so make sure you have the licensed version.

VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance is based as a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Here are the steps to install and configure your software:
1. Download the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance OVA from VMware.
2. Import the OVA into ESXi 5.5 Host Server.
  • Using the vSphere Client, select File > Deploy OVF Template. Browse to the location of the VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance- file for import.


  • ​Click Next to start the Import:


  • Click Next:


  • Enter a name for the appliance or accept the default, and click Next to continue.
  • Select a datastore with at least 125GB of free storage for the appliance. I recommend using a Thick Provision Eager Zeroed virtual disk.


  • ​Click Finish, and wait for the import to complete.


  • ​When the Import has completed, you will have a new virtual machine called "VMware vCenter Server Appliance" in the host inventory. Power on the VMware vCenter Server Appliance and wait for the VMware vCenter Server Appliance to startup.

3. Configure the VMware vCenter Server Appliance

  • Before we can add our ESXi host to the VMware vCenter Server Appliance and use the vCenter Server to manage our hosts and virtual machines, we need to quickly configure the appliance.
  • Open a console to the VMware vCenter Server Appliance.


  • If you have a DHCP server on your network, the VMware vCenter Server Appliance will use a DHCP IP Address when it first starts. This is not recommended and I will show you in this article how to assign a static IP Address.


  • Enter the username root with the default password of VMware.


  • Accept the VMware End User license Agreement.


  • If you want to take part in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, select and enable data collection.


  • ​At this point, we will cancel the Quick Wizard setup, so we can set:

  1. A hostname
  2. A static IP Address.

  • Click Cancel.


  • Select the Network Tab, followed by Address.


  • Select the DHCP drop down menu, and change to Static.


  • Enter a fully-qualified-domain-name, static IP Address, Netmask, and DNS servers, then click Save Settings.


  • Select Network > Status to check that the settings are correct.


  • Select vCenter Server - Summary - Configure Time.


  • Select VMware Tools Synchronization, then Save Settings, and return to vCenter Server Summary.


  • Click Configure Database:


  • From the drop down Database type, select embedded, and select Test Settings (before Save!).


  • If the Operation was successful, Click Save Settings.


  • It can take a few minutes to save the Database Settings.


  • When the Operation has been reported as successful, proceed to the following step in the configuration process.
  • Return to the Summary and Click Configure SSO:


  • ​From the SSO deployment, type select embedded.
  • Enter a password for the user Administrator@vsphere.local account. It is important that you remember this password.
  • Click Test Settings:


  • When the operation is successful, click Save Settings.


  • Click Save Settings:


  • This can take a few minutes to complete.
  • Click the Summary, then click the Start button on the Server.


  • After the services are started, vCenter Server will be available.

2015-07-28-11-53-58-Virtual-Appliance-Ma4. Testing the VMware vCenter Server Appliance

  • Using the vSphere Client or a Web Browser, you can check and connect to your vCenter Server (use the Administrator@vsphere.local account and password to login the first time). The address for your web browser is: https://<IP Address>:9443/vsphere-client/

Deploy-OVF-Template6.jpgDeploy-OVF-Template7.jpgCongratulations you have successfully installed and configured the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 5.5.

Basic VMware Articles Series: 

During this series of articles, VMware released VMware vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 and VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.5 and 6.0. These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0. For consistency, I have used VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 throughout this series:

Thank you for reading my article, please leave valuable feedback. If you liked my VMware article and would like to see more Articles from me, please click the Yes button near the: Was this article helpful? at the bottom of this article just below and to the right of this information. Thank You. Do not forget if you have a question about this article or another VMware, Virtualisation, Windows Server 2012 question, why not post a Question for Me and the other Experts Exchange Experts in the VMware, Virtualisation, Windows 2008, Windows 2012 Zones. I look forward to hearing from you. - Andy :- twitter @einsteinagogo
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
EE Fellow, MVE, Expert of the Year 2021,2017-11, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2022-2011

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