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Deploy install VCSA (vCenter server appliance 6.5) on VMWare Workstation

VMware plans to deprecate vCenter Server for Windows with the next numbered release (not update release) of vSphere.  The next version of vSphere will be the terminal release for which vCenter Server for Windows will be available. For more info check on Farewell, vCenter Server for Windows. I had installed Windows vCenter Server 6.5 in my Lab previously PART 2 : VCENTER SERVER 6.0 INSTALLATION ON WINDOWS 2012 R2, and now wanted to go with VCSA 6.5, I didn't find any proper way to install it on VMware Workstation, I went through few of the steps I found online modifying VMX file and deploying it but it didn't help and work as expected. Instead I went through my own steps of Installing Esxi first, Deploy vcenter vcsa installer OVA on it, Configure vcsa, then export it in ovf format, In the last step Import it on vmware workstation, It worked perfectly for me.

I downloaded latest version of vCenter server appliance 6.5 from site. There is a folder %cdrom%\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 on CD, Where you can locate vCenter Server appliance 6.5 installer for windows. Click Install, It will start new vCenter Server Appliance or PSC Platform Services Controller Appliance wizard.

vmware vsphere vcenter server appliance correct way to install on vmware workstation PSC platform controller appliance Installer

In the Introduction page, Installing the appliance is a two stage process. The first stage involves deploying a new appliance to the target vCenter or Esxi host. The second stage completes the setup of the deployed appliance. Click next, to proceed stage 1.  Accept EULA in End user license agreement. Next is the main configuration Select deployment type, here you decide how to design vCenter and PSC installation, whether the need be separated vcenter from PSC. Here I am selecting vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller option, Both roles on the same server, Selecting this step is very critical, as this cannot be change later and will have adverse effects later, Selecting embedded option is best suite for my LAB environment. For more on designing part I suggest go thru these official couple of pdf, articles and Documents. Limitations of the topology I selected are it does not support Enhanced Linked Mode and Platform Service Controller replication., I am good with it right now.

vmware vsphere vcenter deploy appliance installer deployment type, Embedded Platfrom services Controller Psc and vcenter external best practices

As it require Esxi server ready first, steps to install and deploy esxi can be found on PART 1 : INSTALLING ESXI ON VMWARE WORKSTATION HOME LAB. In the select deployment type configure ESXi or vCenter target settings, type Esxi host name, username and password, Where this vCenter appliance virtual machine will be deployed. Certificate warning will be poped up, Verify SSL certificate sha1 thumbprint and click OK to proceed.

State 1 Deploy vCenter Servier with an Embedded platform services controller deployment target esxi or vcenter https username password, certificate warningState 1 Deploy vCenter Servier with an Embedded platform services controller deployment target esxi or vcenter https username password, certificate warning

Type VCSA virtual machine name and root password.

vmware vcenter appliance installation set up appliance VM name root password deployed

Here decide the VM size. As per my LAB, Tiny deployment size is perfect for me. 

Deployment Size vCPUs Memory (GB) Storage (GB) Hosts (up to) VMs (up to)
Tiny 2 10 250 10 100
Small 4 16 290 100 1000
Medium 8 24 425 400 4000
Large 16 32 640 1000 10000
X-Large 24 48 980 2000 35000

vcenter vcsa installer deployment size, storage size tyny, small, medium large, x-large, vcpus, memory gb, hosts, vms

Define and select which datastore location you want to keep vCenter VM, I have only one datastore, I selected thin mode to save some disk space. Around 3 to 5 GB of  Disk space is required.

vcenter appliance deployment installer select datastore vmfs vmware enable thin disk mode on target host

This is the end of stage one of deployment, Configure network settings, Network (Esxi Port Group), Ip address related info, After completing this step, the next screen ready to complete page will show the settings you have selected up till now, varify them, press finish to start installation.

vmware vsphere vmware deployment embedded psc, Configure network settings IP

It will start deploying VM on esxi server, it will take some time, Once this stage is completed successfully, to proceed with stage 2, click continue to start setup, In case by mistake if you exit from here you can start configuration by logging into vCenter server appliance management interface by https://vcsa:5480.

Installation stage 1 completed successfully deploy vcenter and psc, vcenter management interface port 5480

As using installer to deploy vCenter is a two way process, This first step is completed in the above screenshots, and next are second step of configuring vCenter. Press next on Introduction page, In the appliance configuration tab configure synchronize time with NTP servers (Best practice), I enabled SSH access for future use. Press next

Install stage 2 set up vcenter server appliance with an Embedded PSC NTP server configuration introduction page

On the SSO configuration page, type SSO details, Domain name, Site Name, administrator user password, On the Ready to complete page review all the information.

set up vcenter server appliance with an embedded psc SSO configuration, stage two, sso details domain, site name, username  password

Once you click finish button, warning popups that you will not be able to pause or stop the install from completing once its started. It took approx 20 -25 minutes me to complete setup successfully. after completed you can access server using https://vcsa:443/vsphere-client.

vcenter setup configuration vcsa appliance completed successfuly, 443, vsphere web client

Login in to Esxi server shut down vCenter vm, right click it, and export to start download.

vmware esxi virtual machines , shutdown vcenter right click export to ovf ova

It will start importing, download VM into ovf format, There are multiple files involved. Size is around 3-4 GB.

vcenter vm virtual machine export download file to ovf ova file.png

I have downloaded exported all the required portable files, double click vcsa65.ovf where vmware workstation is installed. Select the VM Name and folder path for Importing Virtual machine. Once Server is completely powered on, check the appliance management portal and vSphere client in browser to verify installation is successful.

VMware vCenter server appliance vcsa export ovf, Import deploy install on vmware workstation, management 5480

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