Installation of vCenter Server (vSphere 5 Tutorial No 3)

It is tutorial no 3 for the VSphere Lab and time for vCenter now.  I will provide a walk through of vCenter Server installation.  Before going to install the vCentre lets discuss what is vCenter Server?

VMware vCenter Server is centralized management application and framework that serves as a proxy for managing ESXi hosts an their virtual machines

vCenter Server performs the following three key functions:

  • Visibility. vCenter Server allows you to configure ESX servers and VMs, as well as monitor performance throughout the entire infrastructure, using events and alerts. The objects in the virtual infrastructure can be securely managed with roles and permissions.
  • Scalability. The visibility found in vCenter Server is scalable across hundreds of ESX servers and thousands of VMs. Using Linked Mode, you can also manage multiple vCenter servers within the same vSphere client
  • Automation. vCenter Server alerts can trigger actions. The Orchestrator feature in vCenter Server Standard allows you to automate hundreds of actions.

vCenter is a requirement for enterprise features,  such as VMotion, Storage VMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler, VMware High Availability and Fault Tolerance.

VMware vCenter Server comes in two versions: Standard and Foundation. The Foundation edition is designed for small and medium-sized businesses that run up to three ESX servers. The Standard version, on the other hand, is for large-scale vCenter Server deployments.

I think its quite enough overview of vCenter Server, if you people want more I have placed links against their important terms to know more about them.  We will use the vCenter’s Standard version with evaluation period for our test lab.  Hmm, What are the requirements of vCenter? or It should be virtual or on physical machine?

Physical or Virtual?

  • vCenter Server can be physical or Virtual.
  • Physical requires a dedicated machine.
  • Physical is not at risk of vSphere outages.
  • Virtual can be backed with other VMs.
  • Virtual does not waste an entire server on VC.
  • Virtual can participate in HA/vMotioned.
  • Virtual is at risk of vSphere outages.

vCenter Server Pre-installation/HW & SW Requirements

  • vCenter needs to be part of a domain but should not be domain controller:p.
  • Account under you have installing should be member of admin group.
  • CPU with 64 Bit and at least 2 GHz or better.
  • 4 GB (We will bypass this :p because we have all lab on one laptop:-(
  • 4 GB of stroage more if  DB installed.
  • NIC card with 1 GB or better
  • Windows Server 2003 Std, Ent or Datacenter 64 bit with SP2.
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Std, Ent or Datacenter 64 bit with SP1
  • Windows Server 2008 Std, Ent or Datacenter 64 bit with SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2  Std, Ent or Datacenter 64 bit with SP2
  • Microsoft .Net 3.5 Framework.
  • Microsoft Windows Installer 4.5 for DB

Download 60 days evaluation version from

Now back to our lab, where we are installing vCenter Server in VM.  Our scenario is….

Our VMLab Scenario…

What I have did so far, I have create a new VM under VMWare Workstaion 8 and install:
  • Fresh Microsoft Window Server 2008 R2
  • VMWare Tools.
  • Setup the initial IP configuration to reach ADDC.
Lets start our walk through  from joining the vCenter Server to the domain…

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