vCenter Server 7.0 – Fresh install

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Prologue

With the release of vSphere 7 at the beginning of this month, I decided to make a post about how to install vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) which is quite simple.

Which are the new features? Check this post from my friend Graham Barker to find out!

 

Let’s move on!

  • Proceed to download the “VMware vCenter Server 7.0.0” ISO file from my.vmware.com
  • Mount the ISO file and execute the installer.exe file :

Prerequisite: We need DNS if we want to deploy vCenter with an FQDN but if you don’t have it or you can’t for any reason, you can trick the installer and put the IP address as the hostname and it will work.

Another prerequisite will be to have an ESXi host where we’re going to install our vCenter

Stage 1 – New deployment

1. We will proceed to select install as we are going to perform a fresh install from the scratch of vCenter Server 7.0.

2. I like that it tells you that External PSC is deprecated! Continue with NEXT.

3. Just put the details of a vCenter (if you have one) or an ESXi host where you want to deploy this new vCenter. In my case (and probably the most if you’re doing everything from the scratch) I am using a host called “johto.pokemon.jp” to deploy the vCSA.

Once you press next, accept the certificate warning if you know the fingerprint of the certificate.

4. Put the name of the VM and set the root password for the vCSA and continue.

5. I am going for the Tiny deployment as it is more than enough for my lab environment. In a production environment usually, you will deploy a small one that fits in many small companies (or in your lab if you’re testing it).

6. Continue by selecting a Datastore and check ” Enable Thin Disk Mode” which is usually the best deployment as it doesn’t allocate all the space and is also enabled by default. (Look even my VMFS-5 datastores work well).

7. Now, let’s configure the network settings. Here my Network you can see a portgroup “Std_mgmt” from my ESXi host. If you have an ESXi host with default portgroups, yours probably is called “VM Network“.

About the FQDN, as I said before (check the Prerequisite section in the beginning) you need to create an A record in your DNS in order to be able to deploy a vCenter with a name.

If you don’t have DNS because you’re installing vCenter and you don’t have it, you can use the IP address as FQDN and it will work.

8. And that’s all for stage 1, here we have a summary saying what is going to do. Be sure to review it: Once you’re ready, press FINISH.

 

It will start with Stage 1, which is the deployment of the VM where the vCenter Server resides:

After some minutes, STAGE 1 is completed, which means that the VM where the vCSA resides is deployed but not configured yet.

Stage 2 – Configuration

Let’s go to STAGE 2 where the vCSA will be configured.

1. Set an NTP server or let the ESXi host also enable SSH if you want to have access to the vCSA.

2. Configure the SSO, the default is the “vsphere.local” domain, in my case I created a custom one.

3. And the last summary after we finish Stage 2 when the vCenter will be fully configured.

4. After a while (15-20 min.), Stage 2 finished without errors!

5. Now I access the GUI from the URL provided in the previous screenshot and I see that is working flawlessly!

6. Enjoy your new vCenter Server with the only HTML5 interface and lots of new features that were mentioned at the beginning of this post.

 

We conclude this article where you can see how simple and easy is to install and deploy vCenter Server version 7.0.

 

 

vCSA 6.x installer error: “No networks on the host. Cannot proceed with the installation.”

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This is a quick post of an error I found sometimes while deploying a new vCenter server appliance with an embedded PSC on the vCSA 6.x installer.

The problem

In my case, I was trying to install vCSA 6.5 without DNS (this is why the system name has an IP address and the DNS is itself). Also, notice that the network section is empty:

If you try to continue with the installation, it will show you an error:

No networks on the host. Cannot proceed with the installation.

 

Solution

I checked the ESXi host and obviously, it has other port groups created in a standard virtual switch, then, which was the problem? Why I can’t see them in the drop-down list?

 

Checking on the internet I found this: https://serverfault.com/questions/886776/vcenter-server-appliance-6-5-installer-error-no-networks-on-the-host-cannot-p

So, that web page mentions the “VM network” port group that is a default port group that is created once you deploy an ESXi host. In my case, it was auto-deployed with different port groups and that one didn’t exist.

Hence, I decided to create a port group called “VM Network” in the host that I am trying to deploy the vCSA and…it worked!

Now, as you can see, I can see that port group and I was able to continue the installation with success!

It seems that with you must have this port group if you are deploying a vCSA at least from your PC, so, bear in mind if you are trying to deploy a new vCSA and you don’t have the default port groups when deploying a vCenter Server.

 

I hope this helps if someone has this issue.

vSphere 6.0: New external PSC within existing SSO Domain

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Hello there!

A quick post talking about a new external PSC in vSphere 6.0 environments.

As you may now the vCenter product is composed by the PSC (Platform Services Controller) and the vCenter component.

Services provided by each component:

Platform Services Controller vCenter
vCenter Single Sign-On PostgreSQL or SQL Express (in 6.0 version)
VMware Certificate Authority vSphere Web Client
vSphere License Service vSphere Client
vSphere ESXi Dump Collector
vSphere Syslog Collector
vSphere Auto Deploy
vSphere Update Manager

Let’s go to the point. I am going to repoint a vCenter with an embedded PSC (a vCSA called “pokecenter”) to an external PSC I created in a Windows server called “digicenter” (I know is kinda original). Digicenter is already joined to the same SSO domain as pokecenter.


Note: If you have any problem when adding an external PSC to an existing SSO domain, check cmsso-util unregister command in the vCSA appliance. In my case, I had to re-install it three times and in the last one, I used the command.

More information in KB: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2114233


In the vCenter with embedded PSC, I will connect through SSH and repoint my vCenter to the external Windows PSC “digicenter”.

The command is: cmsso-util reconfigure –-repoint-psc digicenter.pokemon.jp –username administrator –domain-name vsphere.local –passwd VMware1!

Now, time to wait, it will take a couple of minutes as the text says:

 And after the pass, successful!

 

Hence, our vCenter “pokecenter” has an external PSC “digicenter”. We can check it in vCenter > Manage > Settings > Advanced Settings:

So…

If found some problems when repointing to the external PSC,  make sure the time on both servers is the same (check NTP server), also DNS resolution of the external PSC. Give some time for the vSphere Client to initialize after the repointment.

Finally, be patient, I found some errors (SSO errors about the external PSC) when login to the vSphere Web Client but, after waiting about 10 minutes finally it initialized up successfully.