Installing VMware vCenter Appliance on vSphere

VMware‘s vCenter server provides a centralized platform for managing your virtual infrastructure. The vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) is a preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine that is optimized for running vCenter Server and associated services. Note that this version does not support Microsoft SQL server and IBM DB2. vCSA has some limitations, so it is not prefered in production environments. There is an interesting article summarizing these VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 (vCSA) Limitations.

Goto myVMware Downloads page and press the button “View Download” at VMware vCenter Server record.

myVMware downloads page

myVMware downloads page

Then press the “Download Manager” button at the VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance line with File type OVA. An OVA (open virtual appliance or application) is merely a single file distribution of the OVF and VMDK files stored in the TAR format.

An OVF refers to the Open Virtualization Format, which is a “packaging standard designed to address the portability and deployment of virtualization appliances”. The OVF file is a descriptor file of the packaging and VMDK files are containers for virtual hard disk drives of the appliance. For example, our OVA file includes the following files:

The ova file

The ova file

You can see the manifest file and the certificate files as well.

Appliance Download

Appliance Download

And download the appliance file. Then open the vCenter client and connect to your hypervisor. Select “Deploy OVF Template” from the main menu, to start the import wizard. Browse the downloaded ova file and press Next.

Source File

Source File

OVF Template Details

OVF Template Details

Enter the name for the Appliance, for example “vCenter Appliance”.

Name and Location

Name and Location

Select  Thick Provision Eager Zeroed disk format since this is the fastest way to write to a virtual disk (without zeroing blocks first or extending the disk file). I copy the policies from VMware’s website:

Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed

Creates a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated when the virtual disk is created. Data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out on demand at a later time on first write from the virtual machine.

Using the default flat virtual disk format does not zero out or eliminate the possibility of recovering deleted files or restoring old data that might be present on this allocated space. You cannot convert a flat disk to a thin disk.

Thick Provision Eager Zeroed

A type of thick virtual disk that supports clustering features such as Fault Tolerance. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to the flat format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out when the virtual disk is created. It might take much longer to create disks in this format than to create other types of disks.

Thin Provision

Use this format to save storage space. For the thin disk, you provision as much datastore space as the disk would require based on the value that you enter for the disk size. However, the thin disk starts small and at first, uses only as much datastore space as the disk needs for its initial operations.

Disk Format

Disk Format

Select the Network Map.

Network Mapping

Network Mapping

Check the Power on after deployment checkbox and press Finish.

Ready to Complete

Ready to Complete

It will take some time to deploy the vCenter Appliance.

Deploying

Deploying

Deploying

Deploying

Finally the vCenter Appliance will appear on vSphere client. It will power on and get an ip from your DHCP server.

vCenter Appliance Console

vCenter Appliance Console

Open a browser and type in the url of the appliance at SSL port 5480. for example https://10.1.1.10:5480

vCenter Appliance Administrative Console

vCenter Appliance Administrative Console

The default login credentials are username root and password vmware.

13

Finally configure the appliance pressing the setup wizard button!

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