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HOW TO: Deploy and Install the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (VCSA 6.5)

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2016-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2016,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2016-2011 27 years of experience.
In this article, I show you step by step with screenshots to assist you - HOW TO: Deploy and Install the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (VCSA 6.5), with some helpful tips along the way.
In my previous Experts Exchange Articles, most have featured Basic and Intermediate VMware and Virtualisation Topics. 

If you would like to read my Basic VMware articles, they are listed at the end of this article for your convenience.

This article will show you HOW TO: Deploy and Install the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5, also known as the vCenter Linux Appliance, or VCSA 6.5.

You cannot try the VMWARE vCenter Server Appliance 6.5, you must have a license for VMware vSphere vCenter Server 6.5 to download the appliance from VMware. Previous versions of the  VMWARE vCenter Server Appliance were supplied as a ready made OVF for download, this procedure has now changed in version 6.5, and a ISO (DVD image) now has to be downloaded, and the installer.exe executed, and the wizard followed.

Download the VMware-VCSA-all-x.y.z-abcdefg.iso (DVD image) from VMware. The filename used in this tutorial is called VMware-VCSA-all-6.5.0-4602587.iso, the build number and filename are likely to change in the future,  when it's been updated to a newer version.

Burn or Mount the VMware-VCSA-all-6.5.0-4602587.iso (DVD image) on your Administration workstation. (The Personal Computer where you perform your daily server and network administration).

In the vcsa-ui-installer\win32 folder on the DVD, click the installer.exe file to start the installation the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5. You will be please to note the VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe application is no longer required or used!


1. Installing the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.


At the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 installer screen,

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgSelect and Click Install

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpg
At the Install - Stage 1 : Deploy appliance, and Click Next to continue.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgAccept the End User License Agreement, and Click Next to continue.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgIn this article, we will be deploying a simple installation. At the Install - Stage 1 : Deploy Appliance

Select and use an Embedded Platform Services Controller. Click Next to continue.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgEnter the Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN) of a VMware vSphere ESXi Host Server, that will host the appliance. Please get used to using FQDN of devices and servers used in your VMware vSphere infrastructure, many failures are observed in Expert Exchange posts, because of non-working DNS. It is very important to have functioning DNS, and ALL servers having registered A Records before starting the installation. 

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgClick Next to continue.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgClick Yes, if a certificate warning is displayed. (this is likely if your certificate does not match your FQDN or you are using the default VMware untrusted SSL certificates).

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgValidating prompt will appear for a few seconds

Enter the name for the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 or accept the defaults. Enter and remember the password for the appliance. The passwords needs to be a complex password.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgSelect the appliance size.
 
  • Embedded-Tiny (up to 10 hosts, 100 VMs) - 2 vCPU and 10GB of memory
  • Embedded-Small (up to 100 hosts, 1,000 VMs) - 4 vCPU and 16GB of memory
  • Embedded-Medium (up to 400 hosts, 4,000 VMs) - 8 vCPU and 24GB of memory
  • Embedded-Large (up to 1000 hosts, 10,000 VMs) - 16 vCPU and 32GB of memory
  • Embedded-X-Large (up to 2000 hosts, 35000 VMs) - 24 vCPU and 48GB of memory.
In this tutorial, we are going to deploy a tiny appliance, but make sure you have 2 vCPU and 10GB of memory in the ESXi host server.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgif you host does not have enough memory as follows, the installation will fail, and not proceed.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgSelect a datastore to install the appliance, and select Next to continue.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgSelect and use an Embedded vPostgres database


Enter network settings for the appliance, we have specified a static IP Address, and a FQDN of vcsa65.cyrus-consultants.co.uk.  

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgYou will get a warning if the System Name of the appliance, is not resolvable to an IP Address. Please make sure you have created a DNS A Record for the FQDN of the appliance before installation has started.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgReview the settings, and click Finish to start the installation and deployment of VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgThe appliance is deployed

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgvCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgH__vcsa-ui-installer_win32-000453.jpgPackages are deployed, this may take several minutes,.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgPackages are deployed

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgEdit-Article-000456.jpgvCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgthe appliance is configured

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgConfiguring Network

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgThe installer has successfully deployed vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgClick Continue to proceed with Stage 2 of the deployment process.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgClick Next to continue

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgWe also selected an external NTP server for time synchronization, and enabled SSH. Accurate time synchronization is very important for Single Sign On.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgSetup and Configure Single-Sign-On. (Remember the password!). Enter a password, for Single Sign-On, SSO Domain Name, and Site Name, I would recommend, using vsphere.local for the SSO domain name, and remembering the password! It's easily forgotten. 


vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgSelect if you want to join the VMware's Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). Click Next to continue.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgReview the summary screen, and click Finish.

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgYou will not be able to pause or stop the install from completing once it's started. Click OK to continue, or Cancel to stop the install. If the FQDN you have used is NOT RESOLVABLE your configuration of the appliance WILL FAIL.

HINT: Make sure you have a working Domain Name Server (DNS). Your VMware vSphere infrastructure is only as good as your networking, and DNS. 

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgThe services are started, it can take sometime for all the services to start

vCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgEdit-Article-000470.jpgEdit-Article-000471.jpgEdit-Article-000472.jpgEdit-Article-000473.jpgEdit-Article-000474.jpgEdit-Article-000475.jpgvCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgEdit-Article-000477.jpgEdit-Article-000478.jpgH__vcsa-ui-installer_win32-000479.jpgvCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgvCenter-Server-Appliance-Installer-0.jpgThe installation has been completed successfully, click the FQDN url, to access vCenter Server using the vSphere Web Client.

Privacy-error-000482.jpgSelect Advanced and proceed to vCenter Server login page.

vSphere-Web-Client-000483.jpgEnter your Administrator@vsphere.local username and password. (you did remember the password!). Many VMware Administrators get confused by this login, just remember Administrator@vsphere.local, is your SSO or Superuser account, which allows you later to configure vCenter Server and grant user access.

vSphere-Web-Client-000484.jpgYou are connected to vCenter Server

vSphere-Web-Client-000485.jpgCongratulations you have successfully deployed and installed the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.

Basic VMware Articles Series: 
These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Antzs
Would there be any missing functionality on the Appliance version compared to the Windows version?
0
 
LVL 124

Author Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
No not any more!

It's now a no brainier NOT to use VCSA 6.5
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