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VMware vCenter Server Appliance Installation and Configuration

VMware vCenter Server Appliance

As as alternative to installing vCenter Server on a windows machine, you can download the VMware vCenter Server appliance. It is a preconfigured Linux based VM optimized for running vCenter Server.



  1. vSphere Client is already installed
  2. You can deploy vCenter Appliance only on hosts that are running ESX version 4.x or ESXi version 4.x and later
  3. Appliance required at least 7GB of disk space and is limited to a maximum size of 80 GB
  4. Only Support Oracle as external database (Read this somewhere on the net)

I had a hard time in finding the download location. It seems you have to register first, (which makes sense) go to download page, and select the 3 individual files i.e the ovf file, the System disk and the data disk for vCenter Server 5.0 appliance

vCenter Appliance does not support following feature

  1. MS SQL Server is not supported for vCenter Server Appliance
  2. It does not support IPv6 configuration

The embedded database will note support more than 5 hots and 50 VMs.

Steps to Deploy vCenter Server Appliance

  1. Download the appliance
  2. Launch Vi Client -> Select Deploy OVf template
  3. Select the ovf file from the Source
  4. Click next or verify ovf template details
  5. Give the VM name to your Appliance and click Next
  6. Select the Storage Type and click Next
  7. I prefer Thin Provision, click Next
  8. Select Network and Click Next
  9. Click on finish to start the provision process

Steps to Configure the Appliance

  1. Initially when  the appliance boots it is configured to use DHCP. If your network is configured to use DHCP then it is good, otherwise you will have to manually enter the IP Address by selecting the Configure network option using the arrow keys.

  1. Connect with your browner to the above IP Address <https://ipaddress:5480>
  2. Accept the Certificate error message
  3. Login as root and default password is vmware
  4. Accept EULA
  5. Wait for couple of seconds, it will show "requesting information
  6. After this your Appliance is up and running but you will need to configure the database for vCenter Service to start. If you try to start the vCenter Server without configuring the database, you will get  a error message
  7. To Configure database, click on the Database tab, from the Database Type drop down select embedded option. i don't have a oracle database to test this setup and click on save option under actions
  8. Go back to the Status tab and start vCenter Server service after few secs vCenter Service will be up and running

That's it your vCenter Server is up and running.

I am sure, lots of people would like to reduce that RAM requirement, just reduced the RAM to 4GB and still works, this might help people who are working on VMware workstations. I am sure, there must be some reason why VMware recommended 8 GB of RAM. May be for production use its needs that much RAM. In my lab environment, I will further test this.

3 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Brandon

     /  March 12, 2012

    From my brief testing I could not get the vCenter appliance to boot with anything less than 4GB of RAM for the VM. Have you been able to reduce the RAM any further? Maybe by limiting DB2 and JVM inside the appliance?

  2. Brandon

     /  March 12, 2012

    Nevermind, after 15 minutes it finally booted. Doesn’t like to have less than 4GB RAM, but it does work.

  1. How to install and configure vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 on ESXi 5.1, the free and easy way to enable cloning/templates/migration/vMotion! | Tinkertry

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