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Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will initially need to download the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 ISO, This can be found on the VMware website here (You will need to be logged in). Once you have completed the download of the ISO, you can mount this on your machine by right clicking and selecting ‘Mount’. When you have mounted the ISO you should browse to the following folder E:\vcsa-ui-installer\win32.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance ISO Mounted - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Inside this directory there is an Installer.exe. Right click and ‘Run as Administrator’ on the exe.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance ISO Mounted Installer Directory - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

This will open the VCSA 6.5 Installer as you can see below.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Installer - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Click the Install button to start the installation. Select Next on the Introduction.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Installer Introduction - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will need to agree to the VMware End User License Agreement to continue.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Installer License Agreement - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will need to select the type of deployment that you require in your environment, to keep it simple for this guide I will be using the Embedded Platform Services Controller. This installs both of the required roles on to this virtual machine.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Installer Deployment Type - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now need to provide login details for the ESXI Host or vCenter that you will be deploying this machine on.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Deployment Target - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will be presented by a certificate warning that you will need to confirm to continue.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Host Certificate Warning - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Type an Appliance VM Name and a root password for the appliance to continue.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Appliance VM - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now need to select the type of deployment size that you require for your environment, I will be installing the Tiny deployment size as I only have two hosts and around 20 VM’s in my lab environment.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Deployment Size - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now need to select the datastore that you want to install the vCenter Server Appliance on. You can also select to Thin Provision the disks if required.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Select Datastore - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now need to specify the required IP Settings for the appliance. The System name can be the FQDN of the machine or the IP Address.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Network Settings - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now be able to view the configuration. If you need to change anything you can select Back to navigate to the relevant tab. Select Finish to start the deployment.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Deployment Summary - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Appliance Deploying - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You can also verify on the ESXI Host that the deployment of the OVF has started. As you can see in my environment the OVF has started deploying on the host.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Verify Appliance Deploying - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

This stage of the deployment has now been completed.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Appliance Deployment Complete - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now need to finish the configuration of the appliance. Click Next to continue.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Configuring Introduction - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Specify the NTP Servers for your environment. For example you can use 0.vmware.pool.ntp.org as a NTP Server. You can also enable SSH if required. I would enable this as if you experience any issues with this part of the deployment you are able to login via SSH to investigate the issue.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Configuration - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Specify your SSO Configuration. The default SSO Domain is vsphere.local. You will also need to specify your SSO Password – This will be used to login to your vCenter Server Appliance.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 SSO Configuration - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You can now confirm If you want to Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware CEIP - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now see a Summary of the configuration. Click Finish to complete the deployment.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Appliance Configuration Summary - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Appliance In Progress - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

I had multiple issues with the secondary installation process that eventually was due to SSD Performance due to VMW_AHCI Storage Drivers. You can find my posts on the issues that I experienced here and here.

If you do not experience any issues with the secondary part of the installation you will see the below once the installation has been completed.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Appliance Configuration Complete - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You can now login to the vSphere Web Client to continue the configuration of the appliance. In vSphere 6 there is now the HTML5 Client Included, however the features are limited. I would advise using this client as it’s a lot more responsive than the vSphere Web Client, although not every feature can be configured via this site.

The URL’s you will need are as follows –

vSphere Web Client –

https://FQDN/vsphere-client

vSphere HTML5 Client –

https://FQDN/ui

VMware vSphere Appliance Management Page –

https://FQDN:5480

Configuring SSO with Active Directory

For this configuration you will need to navigate to the vSphere Web Client – https://FQDN/vsphere-client You will need to login using your [email protected] account that was created earlier.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Login - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

When you login you will see the vSphere Web Client page. As you can see I have already configured my Datacenter and Cluster.VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Logged In - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will initially need to configure the vCenter Server Appliance to Join Active Directory. You can do this by navigating to Administration –> Deployment –> System Configuration –> Nodes –> Select your VCSA Node –> Manage –> Advanced –> Active Directory.

Select Join to fill in the relevant information for your AD Domain. The Organizational Unit will need to be configured with the DN of the OU. This can be found in the Attribute Editor on the AD OU.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Active Directory - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Active Directory Configuration - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

When you have confirmed this by selecting OK you will need to restart the reboot the appliance for this to take effect. You can do this by right clicking the vCenter Server Appliance in Solutions and clicking Reboot.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Reboot Solution - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Fill in the reason for rebooting the node and select OK.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Reboot Reason - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

While the appliance is rebooting you can confirm the VCSA has appeared in the OU that was configured in the above screenshot.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Active Directory Object - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

When the appliance has rebooted If you navigate to the same place you will see you have now Joined the Active Directory Domain.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Active Directory Configured - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now need to log back in to the appliance using the vSphere Web Client and Navigate to Administration –> Single Sign-On –> Configuration.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Identity Sources - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Select the + Sign to add an Identity source. I will be adding an Active Directory Identity source with Integrated Windows Authentication.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Add Identity Source - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

If you have not completed the Joining to AD you will receive the following error –

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Identity Source Failed AD - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

If you have completed the AD Stage you will now be able to Configure the Identity Source. I will be using the Machine Account for Windows Authentication.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Identity Source Machine Account - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Select Finish to complete the configuration.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Identity Source Complete - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You will now see your Domain in Identity Sources.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Identity Source Added - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Navigate to Administration –> Single Sign-On –> Groups –> Administrators. You can now add your AD Account in to the vSphere Administrators group. I will be adding my Administrator Account to this group.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client SSO Add Administrator - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

When you have applied this configuration by selecting OK you will now need to log out of this page. Navigate back to https://FQDN/vsphere-client and Click ‘Download Enhanced Authentication Plugin’

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Login - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Continue the steps of Installing the Plug-in.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Enhanced Authentication Plug In - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Enhanced Authentication Complete - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware Plug in Service - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware Plug in Complete - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

When you have restarted your browser you will be able to navigate back to the vSphere Web Client and Login using your AD Account Details.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 vSphere Web Client Login - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

This is the SSO Configuration completed.

Configuring a Datacenter, Cluster and Adding a Host to VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

I have now navigated to the vSphere HTML5 Client page as I prefer this for configuring the vCenter Server.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Logged In - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Right Click your vCenter Server Name and Click Create Datacenter.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client New Datacenter - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

You can now create a cluster if required. I have setup a cluster with DRS & HA enabled.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client New Cluster - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client New Cluster Added - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

At this stage you can now Add a Host to the vCenter Server Appliance. Right Click your cluster and select ‘Add Host’ and fill out the relevant connection settings.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Add Host Cluster - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host Connection Settings - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Click Yes to confirm the certificate thumbprint of your host.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host Certificate Thumbprint - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host Summary - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host License - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host Lockdown Mode - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host Resource Pool - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Ready To Complete - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

When you have clicked Finish you will see the Host has now been added to the Cluster.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Host Added - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Add as many hosts as required using the exact same steps.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Add Second Host - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

As you can see I have now added both of my hosts to my cluster.

VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 HTML5 Client Second Host Added - Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

This completes the Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Guide.

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