Install vCenter 5.5 in Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2012

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vCenter server is central place for managing all the vSphere components like ESXi hosts, clusters, virtual machines, virtual machine templates, replication, high availability and so on. With release of vSphere 5.5, VMware has made lot of improvements in vSphere web client. There are two flavors of vCenter server. First – You can install vCenter Server in Windows Operating Systems, SecondvCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) which is based on SUSE Linux platform. There are different pieces of vCenter server that works together. The components are: Single Sign-On, vSphere Web Client, vCenter Inventory Service and vCenter Server. In this post, I will show steps to install vCenter 5.5 in Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2012. vCenter needs database to store all the vSphere components data like configuration, statistics, etc. Regarding database options, you can choose either dedicated SQL database Server or Oracle database server for vCenter server, or you can go with default express database. 

Install vCenter 5.5 in Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2012

Here is our scenario shown below. ESXi hypervisor is already installed in physical machine. There are three virtual machines, MBG-DC01 is a domain controller, MBG-VCENTER01 is a Server 2012 virtual machine – this is where we will install vCenter and MBG-SQL-DB01 is SQL Server 2012. Both vCenter and database server are member of active directory domain.

Install vCenter 5.5 in Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2012

Minimum hardware and software requirements for vCenter server depends upon installation scenario. So don’t forget to check the requirements. I have already installed SQL Server 2012 in Server 2012 R2 on MBG-SQL-DB01 virtual machine. Because, before installing vCenter, we need to create user account to manage vCenter server and create ODBC database connection. You create user account in Domain Controller and ODBC database connection in SQL server. Then, you can begin installing vCenter 5.5 in Server 2012.

To start the installation, login to vCenter Server, insert the vCenter installation disk and run the install. You have two main option to install vCenter server, simple install or custom install. You can install each components in different server but for now, VMware recommends to install all the components in single server. Here, I will choose simple install as this will be single server installation.

Step 1. In the first page of installation, select Simple Install option and click Install button.

Install vCenter 5.5 in Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2012

Step 2. Click Next on the Welcome to the vCenter Single Sign-On Page.

Step 3. In End-User License Agreement page, accept the License Terms and click Next.

Step 4. In the Simple Install prerequisite page, the installation will perform prerequisite check as shown below. Then click Next.

Install Prerequisites

Step 5. In the vCenter Single Sign-On Information page, type the password. Notice, the default domain is vsphere.local and you can’t change it. You can change it later when you sign into vCenter server using this username and password.

Defautl domain username and password

Step 6. On the Simple Install Configure Site page, type the site name and click Next.

Step 7. On the Simple Install Port Settings page, configure the port number and click Next. The default port number 7444 is fine for single sign on purpose.

Step 8. On the Change destination folder page, browse the destination location to install vCenter Single-Sign on components.

Setp 9. Now review the installation option and click Install button.

Review Installation Options

Step 10. The installation will now start.

Step 11. The installation of vCenter Inventory Service will also start automatically.

vCenter Inventory Service

Step 12. You will now be asked for License Key. Enter the license key and click Next.

Step 13. Then installation of vCenter Server will start. Under Database Options, choose, use an existing supported database and click Next.

Use existing Database

Step 14. Click Next on Database Credentials. In this case, the database user is AD integrated.

Database Options

Step 15. Now enter the vCenter service account information as shown below. This is the local username and password to login to vCenter server. Click Next.

vCenter Server Service

Step 16. Choose Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance option and click Next.

Create a standalone vCenter Server instance

Step 17. Review the port settings and click Next. You can edit the port settings here if you need to.

vCenter Ports

Step 18. Choose the inventory size that suits your environment and click Next.

JVM Memory

Step 19. Review the settings and click Next on vCenter Single Sign On Information page. Click Yes for certificate shown.

SSO Informaitons

Step 20. Type the user account for vCenter server administration. You will use this account to login to vCenter server to manage vSphere infrastructure.

SSO Info

Step 21. Review the vCenter Inventory lookup service URL and click Next.

Lookup Service URL

Step 22. Choose the destination folder for vCenter installation and click Next.

Step 23. Click Install button on ready to install page. The installation will now start. If you get stuck in installing directory services, then browse this link for solution. If you get, “Failed to initialize LDAP instance manager” browse this link.

Installing vCenter Server

After the installation is completed, you can open vCenter web client and start managing your vSphere infrastructure. Login with the administrator@vsphere.local user account at first time and then you can add active directory domain and domain user account.

Open vSphere Web Client

In this way you can install vCenter Server 5.5 in Server 2012 R2 with Database Server 2012.

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Bipin is a freelance Network and System Engineer with expertise on Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, VMware, and other technologies. You can hire him on UpWork. Bipin enjoys writing articles and tutorials related to Network technologies. Some of his certifications are, MCSE:Messaging, JNCIP-SEC, JNCIS-ENT, and others.

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