Lately for most of my labs and even for many customers I have been deploying the VMware vCenter 5.5 Appliance, as it is much quicker to install and give less chances for error. Further it saves customers a Windows license and not to mention being much easier to maintain, patch and upgrade. Further, with many of the earlier versions limitations being lifted it becoming much more viable option than ever before. For that I have decided to document the process of installing the VMware vCenter 5.5 Appliance in a hope to encourage more of you to try it out.
VMware vCenter 5.5 Appliance Installation Steps:
1- Download the VMware vCenter 5.5 Appliance OVA (I rather the OVA as all you have to get and deploy is a single file)
2- Deploy the VMware vCenter 5.5 OVA into one of your hosts.
- Launch the vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client.
- Go to File > Deploy OVF Template.
- Browse to the location of the vCenter Server Appliance downloaded
.ovffile and click Open.
- In the OVF Template Details page, click Next.
- In Name and Location, enter the name of your vCenter Server Appliance and click Next.
- Select a datastore and click Next.
- Select a disk format and click Next.
- Select the Network to connect the vCenter Appliance to
- Click Finish.
3- Power on the vCenter Appliance
4- Configure your vCenter Appliance Network Configuration:
- Logon to the vCenter Appliance VM Console using the default credentials (root/vmware)
- Run the following command: /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_config_net
- Choose option 6) Ip Address Allocation for eth0
- Unless you are using IPv6 then hit n to skip configuring it
- Hit y to configure IPv4 when prompted
- Enter the desired IP for your vCenter Appliance
- Choose Option 2 to setup your gateway address
- Choose option 3 to setup your VC HostName
- Choose Option 4 to setup your vCenter Appliance DNS
- Choose option 1 to close the network configuration
- Type exit and hit enter to log out from the vCenter Appliance Console
5- Now you can access your vCenter appliance management portal using: https://<vCenter IP>:5480
Note: default username and passwords for vCenter Appliance management portal are root/vmware
6- Accept the license agreement
7- On the Configure Options choose “Configure with default settings”
8- Configure your Desired Database, I have went with embedded. For lab or if your environment is smaller than 100 hosts and 3000 VMs, embedded database is the way to go. vCenter 5.5 appliance as you see has raised the bar for what you can do with the embedded database.
9- On the configure SSO tab, Choose embedded unless you have a good reason to use an external SSO.
10- Complete your Active Directory configuration
11- Configure your preferred method of time synchronization, I went with the VMware tools as my hosts are already synced with NTP.
12- Review and accept your configuration.
13- Hit close when applying configuration is completed..
14- Login to the vCenter Appliance Management portal again and make sure all services are started beside the autodeploy unless required as shown in the below screenshot.
15- Now your vCenter is ready and you can login using the vSphere C+ client or through the web client at: https://<vCenter IP>:9443
Hope this help you test the VMware vCenter 5.5 Appliance, and maybe encourage more users to start using these more than capable appliances into production environment.