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.
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:
You can see the manifest file and the certificate files as well.
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.
Enter the name for the Appliance, for example “vCenter Appliance”.
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:
Select the Network Map.
Check the Power on after deployment checkbox and press Finish.
It will take some time to deploy the vCenter Appliance.
Finally the vCenter Appliance will appear on vSphere client. It will power on and get an ip from your DHCP server.
Open a browser and type in the url of the appliance at SSL port 5480. for example https://10.1.1.10:5480
The default login credentials are username root and password vmware.
Finally configure the appliance pressing the setup wizard button!