Deploying and Configuring The vCenter Server Appliance

KB ID 0001146 Dtd 21/08/17


The vCenter Appliance used to be a simple to deploy from OVA, but now you need to deploy it from another machine, (and it has to be a Windows machine).


Before you attempt to deploy the appliance, ‘pre-create’ its host records in your DNS.

Assign vCenter Appliance Licences

Download the vCenter Appliance .ISO file and mount it on your Windows machine, navigate to the vcsa-iu-installer directory, and run the installer.exe file.

Install vCenter 6.5 Appliance

Install > Next > Accept the EULA > Next > Select Embedded Platform Services Controller* > Next.

*Note: For larger environments you can install the PSC on a separate appliance, and it handles things like single sign on, provisioning and certification etc.

Enter the details for the ESX server the appliance is getting deployed on > Next > Enter the name for the VC and its root password > Next > Select the deployment type > Next > Select the storage you want to deploy to, and whether you want to use thin provisioning > Next.

Deploying vCenter 6.5 Appliance

Fill in the IP details for the new appliance, and its DNS settings > Next > Finish.

vCenter 6.5 Appliance IP Settings

The appliance will deploy > When completed, you can further configure the appliance > Next  > Enter your NTP settings > Next.

vCenter 6.5 Appliance NTP

Set the SSO configuration* > username  = administrator@vsphere.local > Password = {something complex}, (you will need it in a minute! (DON’T EVER LOOSE THESE CREDENTIALS!!)) > Next > I usually untick CIEP > Next > Finish

*Note: We will configure domain authentication later.

vCenter 6.5 Appliance SSO Settings

It will take while to reconfigure, when complete click the hyperlink > vSphere Web Client > Log on with the credentials you entered above.

Connect to vCenter Appliance

Join the vCenter Appliance to a Domain

You cannot perform domain authentication unless the appliance is a domain member, so first you need to join a domain.


Join vCenter Appliance To Domain

System Configuration.

vCenter Appliance Join a Domain

Nodes > {VC name} > Manage > Active Directory > Join.

vCenter Appliance How To Join a Domain

Provide the domain name and an account, (with rights to add machines to the domain) > OK.

vCenter Appliance Domain

Nothing happens! This is normal don’t worry, you need to reboot the appliance, this can take a while (actually it reboots quite quickly, but it will be a while before you can login to the web console) > OK.

vCenter Appliance Reboot

Over in Active directory you will see a new computer object.

vCenter Appliance Domain Joined

The only indication you will see on the appliance, is now you have a domain name, and the ability to ‘Leave’.

vCenter Appliance Domain Joined Leave

Enable Domain Authentication

I’m simply going to add my Domain Admins group to the the administrators group on the Virtual Center, there are a number of different roles on ESX you can map to whatever domain groups you want to create.

Administration > Single Sign On > Configuration > Identity Sources > Add.

vCenter Domain Logon

Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication) > Next > You domain should be shown > Next > Finish. 

vCenter Add Domain Logons

Select you domain and set is as the default identity source.

vCenter Add Domain Accounts

Users and Groups > Groups > Administrators > Add.

vCenter Add Domain Administrators

Change the domain to yours, and add in the Domain Admins group > OK

Add Domain Administrators ESX

In ‘Hosts and Clusters‘ view > Select the Virtual Center > Permissions > Add.

Add Domain Authentication to vSphere

Select the Administrators ‘role’ > Then add the Domain Admins group in the same way you did above.

Add Domain Authentication to vCenter

Adding Licences to vCenter

Administration > Licensing > Licences > Licences > Add.

vCenter Appliance Add Licences

Add your licence code(s) > Next > Give them a sensible name > Next > Finish.

vCenter Appliance Licences

Assets Tab > Select the Virtual Center > Assign Licences > Select the appropriate licence > OK.

Assign vCenter Appliance Licences

Deployment, > System Configuration  >Nodes  > Manage  > Advanced > Active Directory > Join.

Note: If you have already added hosts you can assign their licences here also, I will assign the host licences when I add the hosts to the cluster.

Create a vSphere DataCenter

In hosts and Clusters view > Right click the vCenter > New DataCenter > Give it a name > OK

vCenter Appliance Create DataCenter

Create a vSphere Cluster

Right click the DataCenter you have just created > New Cluster > Give it a name > OK

Note: You can enable licensed features here, like DRS, HA, EVC etc. Bur I prefer to do this later.

vCenter Appliance Create Cluster

Adding ESX Hosts to your vSphere Cluster

Right click you cluster > Add Host.

vCenter Appliance Add Host to a Cluster

Enter the name or IP > Next > Enter the root account and password > Next (If you get a certificate warning click OK > Next.

VMWARE ESX Add a Host to a Cluster

Select an appropriate licence, (or select the evaluation licence if you have not yet added any licences) > Next > I always disable lockdown mode > Next > Finish.

VMWARE ESX Add a Host to vCenter









Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

Original Article Written 26/01/16

vSphere – Adding Domain Users/Groups to vCenter

Author: PeteLong

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