- How to use VMware vSAN ReadyNode Configurator - Fri, Dec 17 2021
- VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Toolkit version 1.3 new features - Fri, Dec 10 2021
- Disaster recovery strategies for vCenter Server appliance VM - Fri, Nov 26 2021
You have to have at least one ESXi host installed if you want to deploy VMware VCSA 6.5. This is because the ESXi host will act as a target, as a support to run the VCSA virtual machine (VM). So how do you install and configure VMware vCenter 6.5 in a small business environment?
The vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 has two main parts:
- vCenter Server
- Platform Services Controller (PSC)
The VMware PSC enables management of certificates via the VMware certificate authority, licensing services and the vCenter single sign-on (SSO) authentication service. The latter enables communication with vSphere components via a secure token exchange mechanism.
While most environments will be fine with all components installed as a single VM, you also have the option to install a separate VM for the PSC and another VM for vCenter. This case applies to multi-site environments where multiple linked vCenter servers communicate with a single PSC (or multiple PSCs behind a load balancer). There are other cases where such a configuration is necessary, but this is not the subject of this post.
Let’s get started with the single VM deployment we’ll do today. As usual, you’ll need a proper DNS configuration. So make sure to create forward and reverse DNS records on your DNS server before you start your deployment.
Depending on your system, you have a choice of running the installer from a Windows, Linux or Mac workstation. Pretty cool if you ask me, as you can be a Mac user. The VCSA is one big ISO file, which you’ll need to download from VMware. After mounting the ISO, you’ll find a file and folder structure that is easy to navigate.
The installer starts the wizard, which will walk you through installation and configuration. The process has two main parts:
- Stage 1 – Deploy the appliance
- Stage 2 – Set up the appliance
Let’s get started. The first screen is essentially just a recap informing you that you’ll need an ESXi host (or another vCenter server) to start the deployment.
Then we’ll need to accept the licensing agreement.
The next step is to choose which deployment type we’re doing. As stated earlier, you can deploy separate VMs or a single VM. When choosing separate VMs, you can run the installer to deploy just the vCenter server or just a PSC.
Next, we’ll need to specify the appliance deployment target. In our case, we’re deploying directly to the ESXi host.
Then we’ll need to accept the SSL certificate, an untrusted one by default.
The next step involves setting up the name for the VM and also a root password. Make sure to remember this password, as you’ll need it later when configuring the appliance.
On the next screen, you can choose the size of the appliance and also specify the amount of RAM, the number of vCPUs and the amount of storage space to use.
The next screen will invite you to select a target datastore. I’m picking a local datastore for now, but this can be a shared datastore too, depending on the configuration of this ESXi host. This window shows all datastores present on this ESXi host.
You can check the “Enable Thin Disk Mode” box to save space on the target datastore by not allocating the entire space right now.
The last screen before the final one asks you to configure the network. Once again, make sure you created your DNS records for the VCSA. You can also use DHCP if you want, but I’d recommend going with a static IP.
After that, you’ll see the progress bar.
Subscribe to 4sysops newsletter!
This ends the first part of the configuration. Our next post will demonstrate the second part of the configuration as well as the initial steps when working with VMware vSphere 6.5. Stay tuned.
Want to write for 4sysops? We are looking for new authors.