Sunday 23 May 2021

Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-8-vCenter

In my previous post Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-7-Shared storage, we have configured shared storage, DNS entries and NTP setup. Now we are ready to deploy vCenter.

Lets start by downloading the vCenter ISO from VMware Customer connect portal.

Once you have downloaded the ISO, we can start deployment process.

Locate the downloaded ISO and mount it on the base machine ( I am using addc server for this task).

Navigate to G:\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 (G: can be different depending on what drive letter is assigned on your computer to the ISO drive), double click on the Installer file.

You will be presented with the vCenter server 7 installer screen. select first option 'Install"

Now external PSC deployment has been deprecated, move with the embedded vCenter deployment.

Accept the end user license agreement, move next.

Provide details for the host on which we are deploying our vCenter.

Accept the presented certificate.

Provide vCenter name and root password.

Select the deployment size, we are going to install Tiny, as we are not going to manage anything more than 10.

Select the datastore for deployment, and select enable thin disk mode.

Complete network configuration of the vCenter server, and move to final screen.

Validate the settings and finish the deployment, it will take some time to finish the phase 1 of the deployment.

Wait for phase one to finish.

Once deployment is finish we will get the confirmation, and we will move to stage 2.

In stage 2 we will create SSO domain, so let's start.

Set the NTP setting and enable the SSH access.

Here we will set our SSO domain and SSO administrator password.

If you want you can Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program.

Lets review the settings and finish the wizard.

Click OK to start the installation.

Let stage 2 get complete, and we will be ready with our vCenter.

With the confirmation below our vCenter deployment is complete. Now we will login to vCenter to verify.
Launch the web client.
Use SSO credentials to login.

Congratulations, now you have successfully deployed a vCenter server.


In my next post Home Lab Step-by-Step Part-9-HA-DRS we will add the deployed hosts to vCenter inventory and we will configure the vCenter server with HA and DRS.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. fyi - for anyone trying to DL the 7.5gig vcsa ISO thorough the CSR1000v - it will take hours due to the basic CSR license only allowing a 2.5Mbit/s limit. As a temp workaround, you can add another network to ADDC and place it in the 192.168.x.x network. This way you can bypass the CSR for this download

    1. Thats a really nice suggestion, Thank you :)

  3. Hi Pradhuman,

    Quick question, does your physical host have external IP add 192.168.1.x or 172.16.11.x


    1. Yes, my physical host is on 192.168.1.x network.

  4. Hi Prad,

    in Part-3-Networking - i did not see this port group called management-VMs which you assigned vcenter during vcenter deployment, where it come from? just to understand bit more.


    1. In part 3 we created networks on physical host which will represent separate vLans as we usually have in real datacenters, now vCenter is installed on a nested host, I renamed default VMnetwork port group of the nested host to management-VMs for clarity. I understand that part was not captured in screenshot and can be confusing.

  5. Hi Pradhuman,
    I've difficulty during deploy vcsa, it stuck at 84% installing rpm wcp package at stage 1.Try many times still stuck in there. My bare metal and nested esxi host are 7.0 u3c and added enterprise plus trail license on both. DNS NTP NETWORK following your instructions to setup & it should work propperly. I can check where to figure it out the problem is> Thanks.

    1. Hi Dear,

      Can you check if you have unblocked the VCS iso file? As windows has a feature which keeps files blocked for security reasons.

      If not then please follow below mentioned steps and try deployment again.

      How to unblock a File in Windows 11/10
      Right-click on the file.
      Select Properties.
      Make sure you are in the General tab.
      Press the Unblock button.
      Click Apply/OK and exit.
      The file will be unblocked.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hi all,

    with VCSA 7.0 U3h I repeatedly experimented failure at 36% of Stage 2 for some service not starting,
    and after some troubleshooting I found problem around DNS resolution in VCSA.
    I solved it by enabling SSH and commenting out default line "nameserver" in VCSA /etc/resolv.conf in between Stage 1 and Stage 2
    (and keeping only the line for Lab DNS coming from Stage 1):

    root@vCenter7HomeLab [ ~ ]# vi /etc/resolv.conf
    root@vCenter7HomeLab [ ~ ]#
    root@vCenter7HomeLab [ ~ ]# nslookup name = MsiESX1HomeLab.homelab.local.
    root@vCenter7HomeLab [ ~ ]#
    root@vCenter7HomeLab [ ~ ]# nslookup MsiESX1HomeLab.homelab.local

    Name: MsiESX1HomeLab.homelab.local

    After that I faced failure for Workload Control Panel configuration at 85% of Stage 2 process,
    with error message "Install-parameter upgrade.import.directory not set".
    So I remembered of same issue I read about on a William Lam's blog
    with a failure in a different phase for VCSA 8.0 deploy but with a fix about the same parameter unset.

    By applying the suggested modification of .ovf file (unpackaging/repackaging iso file and .ova file with ovftool,
    and with a modification also for the manifest .mf file for change in SHA256 for .ova file in order to have a valid .iso file)
    I went to goal.

    Another suggestion: before starting Stage 2 I've also temporarely pumped up vRAM(20) and vCPU(4) of Tiny VCSA.

    Thank you Pradhuman!


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