HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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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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In this tutorial article, I will show you how to install and configure the VMware vSphere vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows on an ESXi 5.5 Host Server. VMware vSphere vCenter Server is a management server and does not affect the running of virtual machines on the host. It can be safely installed on an ESXi host server, without affecting running production virtual machines.
 
However, I recommend the use of the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.0 over vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows if you intend to use more than 3 ESXi host servers. The issue is the SQL Express database included with vCenter Server for Windows is limited to a maximum database size of 10GB. As the tables can grow very quickly beyond 10GB in just a few months with the amount of information which is stored in the Events and Tasks tables, you'll need more space than that.The VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 6.0 can now scale to 1000 ESXi hosts and 10,000 VMs, which takes care of that problem.
 
Here, we will use the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 as the operating system of choice to support the VMware vSphere vCenter Server for Windows. I also recommend the use of a virtual server to support vCenter Server for Windows.
 
I have written the following EE article on how to install this operating system:
 
Please note:
 
Additional resources:
I have written some EE articles on installing and configuring the VMware vSphere vCenter Server Appliance that you may want to refer to as you make these configurations:
 
Follow the steps below to install and configure the VMware vSphere vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows on an ESXi 5.5 Host Server:
 
1. Installing VMware vSphere vCenter Server for Windows
  • After inserting the DVDROM or mounting the ISO image in the server, autorun will start.
  • You will need at least 2 vCPU and 4GB RAM memory for the server, also make sure that Microsoft .NET 3.5 is installed.
  • Give yourself, at least 2 hours, to complete the installation.
 
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  • Click Install.

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  • Click Next to continue.

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  • Tick the "I accept the terms of the license agreement" and click Next to continue.

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  • Study the next screen. vCenter 6.0 has changed and now requires a new service called the "Platform Services Controller". This service is a shared serviced of vCenter Single Sign-On, Licensing, and Certificate Management. For this tutorial and smaller installations, I recommend vCenter Server and the Embedded Platform Services Controlelr be installed on the same server. For larger installations with multiple vCenter Servers, I recommend one or more Platform Service Controllers.
  • Select Next to Continue.

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  • Enter the System DNS name. If DNS is not available, enter an IP Address of the host server.
  • Click Next to continue.

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  • Create a new vCenter Single Sign-On Configuration and enter a password for the Administrator@vsphere.local account. You must remember this complex password as you'll need it later.
  • Click Next to continue.

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  • Use a Windows Local System Account.
  • Select Next to continue.

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  • I recommend the use of an embedded database based on vProgres rather than SQL Express, which has a maximum database size of 10GB.
  • Select Next to continue.

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  • Accept the default network ports and click Next to continue.

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  • Accept the Default Destination Directories, and click Next to continue.

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  • Review the settings before the installation, and click Install to continue.

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  • The installation will start.

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  • The installation is finished and complete.
  • Click Finish.

2. Testing the VMware vCenter Server 6.0 for  Windows
  • 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>:/vsphere-client/. Please note that 9443 has gone!
 
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Congratulations you have successfully installed and configured VMware vSphere vCenter Server 6.0 for Windows
 
Basic VMware Articles Series: 
During this series of articles VMware released VMware vSphere 5.5 and VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.5. These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0 and 5.5. For consistency, I have used VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 throughout this series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
CERTIFIED EXPERT
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

Comments (6)

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Commented:
@Temody Thanks for your kind words.....Go for it....

Andy

Commented:
Great tutorial, We came across some issues ill share.

We used a SQL 2014 server for the DB on 5.5 using the Native 11 SQL Drivers.

But using the same thing for 6.0 did not work, in the end the only thing that worked was the Native 10 SQL Driver

VMware and Microsoft could not understand why the install was not working after extensive looks through the logs.

Log File from install ages ago!
2015-04-15 10:13:49.818+01:00| vcsInstUtil-2562624| I: PitCAGetSystemDSNList: DSN 'VMMS1 VCDB' does not use a supported driver (ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server)
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Commented:
Thanks for your feedback, - I recommend the use of an embedded database based on vProgres rather than SQL or SQL Express, which has a maximum database size of 10GB !!!

Commented:
Yes that does work better from trials but our DBS are HUGE!! the Virtual estate is just so large.
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Commented:
If that is the case, I would recommend the Appliance! (Windows and SQL is dying for vCenter!)

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