The nightmare of vCenter server appliance 6.0 installation

VMware’s vCenter server appliance 6.0 has the same scalability numbers as the windows installable server. It seems that there is no reason to avoid the installation of vCenter appliance again. Buy one Microsoft windows server license less next time.

I will not go through an installation guide since there are plenty of these published on the Internet. But I will underline a few problems that I encountered during the installation of the appliance.

A. Don’t forget to install the client integration plugin

First of all, the appliance comes in iso format not in ova.  

 So mount the iso file and go into vcsa folder 

 Execute the file with “run as administrator”.

B. Don’t forget to set the VLAN Id on your VM Network

If you are using VLANs on your switches, make sure that you have already set it right on your host VM Network. Otherwise the vCenter will be disconnected from the network and you will end up with a “Failed to start services. Firstboot Error.”.


It seems that this error appears because the vCenter appliance cannot contact the configured DNS service.

Another interesting implication is that if you have configured the ip of your NTP server for time synchronization instead of ESXi host time synchronization. The installation script will stop abruptly. So, remember to setup the VLAN correctly.

C. Don’t forget to manually enter the DNS entries of vCenter ip

vCenter 6.0 appliance is very sensitive with the host entries on your DNS server. Double check that you have correctly entered the host name and the IP address of vCenter as well as the reverse lookup record.

D. Read vSphere’s common issues document

Read VMware’s common issues section in vSphere’s Release Notes document. Very useful, for example it seems that you should configure only one DNS server during the installation, even though the entry prompts you to enter more than one ip separated by comma!

“The vCenter Server Appliance scripted installer fails if more DNS servers are provided simultaneously
The scripted installation of vCenter Server Appliance fails if you provide more than one DNS server during the installation process.

Workaround: You should use only one DNS server at a time, and after the installation has finished, you can add more DNS servers.”

What a nightmare! Please VMware, correct the pre-check functions in the installation script and return meaningful error messages!



14 thoughts on “The nightmare of vCenter server appliance 6.0 installation

  1. And if you install VCSA to a viertualk ESXi using a dvSwitch portgroup, dont forget to enable “changed MAC adress” to accept! 😉

  2. Pardon my language but some of these issues VMware has introduced with VCSA 6.0 deployment are piss poor. Manageable? Yes. A step backward? Absolutely. Market leaders don’t propel garbage like this out the door. It’s not specifically these issues with the VCSA that bother me. It is the fear of _this_ level of design, quality, and thought process which is baked into all of VMware’s “software defined” infrastructure which run our business critical datacenters.

  3. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she keeps the idea of a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.
    So that’s why this article is amazing. Thanks!

  4. Also, client integration plug-in does not install unless it can write to your \system32\drivers\etc directory specifically mentioning hosts.bak and (cryptic messages about installer defective and did not complete, contact tech support). Also, plug-in seems to work only with Internet Explorer and not with Firefox (blank page, never finds plug-in). Major hassles building a virtual domain, as you need to install guest servers to provide network services before installing vCenter – otherwise even after you manage a successful install, you get one login before you hang on reboot.

  5. Pingback: Error en la instalación de vSphere 6.0 | Control+Shift+Escape

  6. How can anyone release that buggy installation of vCenter especially when you installing Platform Services Controller as external So many retries.. We are paying expensive money for this product, please VMware improve your quality or we be looking at other products. ESX6.0x has been a nightmare!

  7. Pingback: VMware: Why Customize? – Definitely Alive

  8. Excellent post. Thanks for sharing. I really like vSphere. I also like the company. A nice change from Microsoft products. However, this was really disappointing by VMware. Appreciate you sharing

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