I keep experimenting in my vSphere lab environment, and this time wanted to Install fresh vCenter server appliance from scratch on VMware Workstation, with new version of VMware Workstation deploying OVF (open virtulization format) is very easy.

In this article from installation to configuration everything is done on VMware workstation, and no ESXi server is used. For a start I have already downloaded latest vCenter server appliance 6.5 ISO from https://my.vmware.com, Mounted it as virtual DVD-CDROM, launch VMware Workstation, click File menu then go to Open and on the file selection dialog box select ova file from vcsa folder inside mounted or extracted ISO file.

In the deployment option choose your vCenter VM size (CPU, Memory and disk), I am selecting first one option Tiny vCenter server with Embedded PSC, which will deploy a tiny VM configured with 2 vCPUs and 10 GB of memory and thin disk of 300 GB capacity, This option contains vCenter Server with an embedded platform services controller (PSC) for managing upto 10 ESXi hosts and 100 VMs, It is suitable for my lab.

Next are properties options which asks additional properties for this virtual machine, below are the mandatory items for networking configuration.

  • Host Network IP address family, you can either use ipv4 or ipv6
  • Host Network mode has 3 options Static, DHCP or autoconf for ipv6 only
  • Host Network IP Address: Only provide this when mode is static, can be ipv4 or ipv6 based on specified address family.
  • Host Network prefix length: Only provide this when mode is static. 0-32 for ipv4, 0-128 for ipv6
  • Host IP address of default gateway can be ‘default’ when using IPv6
  • Host network DNS Servers: comma separated list of IP address of DNS servers
  • Host Network Identity : (IP address or fqdn [fully-qualified domain name]) services should use when advertising themselves.

All the properties provided above will need some time to take effect after the vCenter appliance first power on, so just wait and do not shutdown the appliance. Let vCenter server virtual appliance initiate and wait for DCUI to appear to confirm all is going good.

Till now only vCenter appliance is installed, however additional steps must be completed before it is available for use, Open vCenter appliance management link in browser https://<FQDN or IP>:5480.  Port 5480 is commonly used in almost all vSphere product for management portal. After launching management portal for the first time it initializes all the required RPM and they are installed in the background, no input is required from your side. After process is finished click on Set Up icon which will configure this appliance as a new vCenter server, Log on to the vCenter Server Appliance using root password earlier created

Installing vcenter server appliance is a two stage process. The first stage has been already completed. Click next, to proceed with Stage 2, setting up the vCenter Server appliance. On Appliance configuration All the information is already filled up (we provided the same earlier), you can configure Time synchronization mode to NTP server and enable SSH access. Click Next.

On the Ready to complete, review your settings before finishing the wizard. 

Stage two is complete, You can get started with appliance by using url https://<vCenter fqdn or Ip>:443

Here all the settings are configured, I can use vsphere web client (Flex flash based) or vsphere Client (HTML5) now.