Last updated on July 8th, 2020
This tutorial contains step by step instructions on how to install VMware vCenter Server v6.7 on Windows. Before, you continue to install vCenter for Windows, it is essential to understand the requirements, options, and the steps necessary to ensure successful deployment of vCenter server on Windows.
The two core components in any VMware vSphere infrastructure are VMware vSphere ESXi and VMware vSphere vCenter server. ESXi provides a layer of virtualization that abstract the physical server's hardware resources like the CPU, memory, network, and storage, and allocates them to multiple virtual machines. It provides capabilities of creating and running virtual machines and virtual appliances. VMware vCenter Server is a tool that allows you to manage all your ESXi hosts and their respective virtual machines from a central location.
There are two deployment options for vCenter Center supported by VMware. The first one is installing vCenter Server on a Windows virtual or physical machine, and the second one is deploying the Linux vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) on ESXi host.
In this article, we will mention all the steps you need to follow, to successfully install vCenter Server on a Windows Server.
About the vCenter Server on Windows
The vCenter Server installed on Windows Server was the first and only deployment option available for the vCenter server until the Linux appliance was introduced.
VMware has however made a lot of enhancements on the VCSA and recommends migrating any vCenter Server Windows installation to the Linux VCSA. VMware also recently announced that vCenter version 6.7 would be the last version of vCenter on windows and any new features will only be released on the VCSA.
vCenter Server on Windows pre-installation considerations.
Before installing the vCenter server, you will need to have the following minimum requirements covered:
- A 64-bit Windows Server 2008 service pack 2 operating system and above.
- The system you are installing the vCenter server on, should not be an Active Directory Domain controller.
- There are three database options supported:
- PostgreSQL database which is bundled with the installer.
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 database and above.
- Oracle 11g or 12c database.
- Synchronize the clocks for all the vSphere components, including the windows virtual machine you will be using. An NTP server is recommended for this.
- Review the hardware requirements for vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller on Windows.
- Review the storage requirements.
- The windows server must have the most recent patches and updates. You can review the software requirements for vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller on Windows here.
- If you plan to run the vCenter Server services with a user that is not the local system account, then it has to be a member of the administrator's group.
- A pre-install check runs when you start the installer to ensure that all the requirements have been met for the installer to complete successfully. If any of the conditions have not been met, then you will not be able to do the installation until the issue is resolved.
It is highly recommended to visit VMware Compatibility Guide for a more comprehensive link of all supported options.
How to install vCenter Server 6.7 on Windows.
1. Download the vCenter Server 6.7 ISO image file from the VMware product download website.
2. When the download is completed, mount the ISO file on the Windows server you will be using for the installation.
3. Right-click at autorun.exe (located on the root directory of the ISO image) and run as administrator.
4. The VMware vCenter Server for Windows installation wizard, will start. Click Install.
5. At "Welcome to VMware vCenter Server 6.7 installer" window, click Next.
6. Accept the terms of the license agreement and then click Next to continue with the installation.
7. At the next screen you 'll be prompted to choose between the Embedded Platform Services Controller Deployment Model and the External Platform Services Controller Deployment Model. Leave the default option and click Next. *
* Note: We are using the embedded option in our guide. If you wish to use the external option, then the PSC must be deployed before installing the vCenter Server.
8. Type the IP Address or the FQDN of your vCenter Server in the System Name field. *
* Note: The value configured here is permanent, and you will not be able to change it after the installation.
9. At "vCenter Simple Sign-On Configuration" settings: *
a. At "vCenter Single Sign-on Domain Name": type your existing SSO Domain name or create a new domain, or leave the default SSO Domain which is the "vsphere.local".
b. Enter the SSO username, password, and leave the default site name.
c. Click Next to continue.
* Note: the SSO configuration cannot be changed after the installation.
10. At the next screen, leave the default setting, to use the "Windows Local System Account" to start the vCenter Server instance, and click Next.
11. At the next screen, we are going to configure a database to be used for our vCenter server instance. At this point, select "Use the embedded VMware Postgres", or, give the details of the external database,) and click Next.
13. At "Configure ports" settings, leave the default port configuration, or change the default values according your choice, and click Next.
14. Leave the default destination directory, (or click 'Change' to specify a different destination directory), for installing the vCenter services, and click Next to continue.
15. Select the corresponding checkbox, if you want to "Join the Customer Experience Improvement Program" and then click Next to continue.
16. Review all the configured settings and if everything is okay, click Install.
17. Once the installation completes, you can Launch the vSphere Web Client immediately, or click Finish to close the installer.
18. Once the setup is complete, you can log in to your new vCenter server from a web browser of your choice, by typing its IP address or the DNS name. *
* Note: By default, you will get a 60-day evaluation period for vCenter. After that, you will need to buy a license in order to use the vCenter server.
That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.