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.
Inside this directory there is an Installer.exe. Right click and ‘Run as Administrator’ on the exe.
This will open the VCSA 6.5 Installer as you can see below.
Click the Install button to start the installation. Select Next on the Introduction.
You will need to agree to the VMware End User License Agreement to continue.
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.
You will now need to provide login details for the ESXI Host or vCenter that you will be deploying this machine on.
You will be presented by a certificate warning that you will need to confirm to continue.
Type an Appliance VM Name and a root password for the appliance to continue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This stage of the deployment has now been completed.
You will now need to finish the configuration of the appliance. Click Next to continue.
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.
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.
You can now confirm If you want to Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program.
You will now see a Summary of the configuration. Click Finish to complete the deployment.
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.
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 –
vSphere HTML5 Client –
VMware vSphere Appliance Management Page –
Configuring SSO with Active Directory
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.
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.
Fill in the reason for rebooting the node and select OK.
While the appliance is rebooting you can confirm the VCSA has appeared in the OU that was configured in the above screenshot.
When the appliance has rebooted If you navigate to the same place you will see you have now Joined the Active Directory Domain.
You will now need to log back in to the appliance using the vSphere Web Client and Navigate to Administration –> Single Sign-On –> Configuration.
Select the + Sign to add an Identity source. I will be adding an Active Directory Identity source with Integrated Windows Authentication.
If you have not completed the Joining to AD you will receive the following error –
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.
Select Finish to complete the configuration.
You will now see your Domain in Identity Sources.
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.
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’
Continue the steps of Installing the Plug-in.
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.
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.
Right Click your vCenter Server Name and Click Create Datacenter.
You can now create a cluster if required. I have setup a cluster with DRS & HA enabled.
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.
Click Yes to confirm the certificate thumbprint of your host.
When you have clicked Finish you will see the Host has now been added to the Cluster.
Add as many hosts as required using the exact same steps.
As you can see I have now added both of my hosts to my cluster.
This completes the Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Guide.