Deploying vSphere 6.0 – vCenter Server Installation – Part 2

Now that we have at least one host deployed, and I would even say, for lab purposes, deploy two. We can proceed with the vCenter server installation.

  1. Deploying vSphere 6.0 – ESXi Installation – Part 1
  2. Deploying vSphere 6.0 – vCenter Server Installation – Part 2
  3. Deploying vSphere 6.0 – vCenter Server Appliance Installation – Part 3
  4. Deploying vSphere 6.0 – Platform Services Controller – Part 4

 

So what’s new in vCenter 6.0? Platform Services Controller and Management Node

When looking at these two components, we right away notice the architectural differences between vCenter in 5.x and 6.x. Let’s start by explaining what these two roles are responsible for:

Platform Services Controller

  • Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Certificate Management (VMware Certificate Authority and VMware Endpoint Certificate Store)
  • Identity Management
  • Licensing

Management Node

  • Various APIs
  • Monitoring of vSphere environments
  • Management of vSphere

One interesting aspect to consider, is how we’re going to be deploying vCenter going forward? Having the ability to do High Availability for vCenter is quite crucial if you ask me, especially when dealing with large virtual environments. Going forward with vCenter 6, we can now use load balancers, we can also scale out our deployments a lot easier and have dedicated virtual machines for PSC and the Management Node.

vCenter Server Installation Steps

For the most part, the installation is straight forward, with some differences of course. Let’s take a look by launching the installer

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Right here we notice that the menu has changed a little, and we’re now presented with four sections:

  • VMware vCenter Server – vCenter Server for Windows
  • VMware vCenter Desktop Client – vSphere Client
  • vSphere Update Manager – Server, Download Service, Client
  • VMware vCenter Support Tools – vSphere Authentication Proxy

Since this blog is focusing on the vCenter server installation, we’re going to go ahead and chose the first option, vCenter Server for Windows

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Click on Next to proceed to the next Window where we’ll have to accept the EULA

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At the next screen we need to chose the deployment type, this where we can either deploy all roles (PSC and Management Node) on the same server or chose a scale out deployment where we can deploy these specific roles onto their own dedicated servers. This is of course a question for the archictect and the business requirements. For this particular excercise, we’re going to install all the roles on the same server

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Next, we need to define the system name for communication purposes. Make sure the system name is accurate and represents design decisions as this is the name that will also be used for SSL certificates. It will however populate the name of your vCenter server by default and to be honest, I really don’t see the reason to change it unless you have a specific requirement

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We now need to configure the Single Sign-On (SSO) service. We also have two options here:

  • Create a New Single Sign-On Domain
  • Join a Single Sign-On Domain

These two options speak for themselves so if this is a new deployment like the one in my lab, we’ll be choosing the first option, Create a New Single Sign-On Domain, define the SSO administrator Password and proceed to the next section

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Next, we’ll need to specify a service account, and this is something that I feel should be a mandatory requirement. I personally always use a dedicated domain service account. However before we can do so, we need to ensure that the service account has the right access:

  • Log On as Service
  • Part of Local Administrators group on the vCenter Server

Log on as service

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Local Administrators

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Next, we’ll need to specify if we want to use an internal or external database. I believe this is something new as I don’t remeber seeing this in previous version of vCenter installation. But it’s nice to know that if you don’t have a SQL server license, you can always use the embedded vPostgres database. Although I recommend using a dedicate SQL server for larger environments or where database HA is required

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And just like with the previous installation of vCenter, we can verify or modify the ports that are going to be used by vCenter and it’s services and proceed to the final steps

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Validate the folder installation path, I personally like to use a different drive, rather than using C drive

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Click on Install, and the installation should commence

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Once the installation is complete, we can click Finish

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Andrey Pogosyan

Andrey Pogosyan is a Virtualization Architect who’s focus is on infrastructure virtualization involving mainly VMware and Citrix products. Having worked in the IT industry for 10+ years, Andrey has had the opportunity to fulfill many different roles ranging from Desktop Support and all the way up to Architecture and Implementation. Most recently, Andrey has taken a great interest in the datacenter technology stack encompassing Virtualization, mainly VMware vSphere\View, Citrix XenApp\XenDesktop and Storage (EMC, HP, NetApp).

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