How to Install VCSA 6.5 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance)

In this article I will show you how to install VCSA 6.5 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance).

To start, you need an installation kit of vCenter Server Appliance 6.5. For this article, I will use the VCSA version I downloaded from my VMUG Advantage account (VMware-VCSA-all-6.5.0-5318154.iso).

Note: If you look for VCSA update instructions, check this article: How to Update vCenter Server Appliance to 6.5 Update 1b.

Install VCSA 6.5 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance)

You need an extra server to launch the installer. For this purpose I will use a Windows desktop machine. Unzip the archive and navigate to VMware-VCSA-all-6.5.0-5318154\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 folder. Launch installer.exe.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA installer

vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 Installer will start. Click on Install.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA installer

The installation process consists in two separate stages. In the first stage we will deploy the appliance, then in the second stage we will configure it. Let’s start with first stage: click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA deploy appliance

Read the EULA, check “I accept the terms of the license agreement” checkbox and click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA deploy appliance

Choose the deployment type. I will show a simple installation, so I will choose “vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller”. Read more on available deployment types. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA select deployment type

We now have to enter the details of the ESXi server where we will deploy the VCSA appliance. If you don’t have any available ESXi server, you can read my article How to Install VMware vSphere 6.5. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA deployment target

Installer will connect now to the ESXi server. If you don’t have trust relationship configured, you will receive a certificate warning. Click Next.
Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA certificate warning

We need now to setup the appliance name and the root password. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA appliance name

For next step we need to choose the deployment size. You can see the resources allocated for different deployment sizes. In my case I chose Tiny deployment with a default storage size. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA deployment size

Select on which ESXi datastore you want to deploy the appliance. You have also the option to enable thin disk mode (useful if you have severe storage constraints, in a lab environment for example). Last option allows you to configure a new vSAN cluster and deploy the appliance on this cluster. I will not treat vSAN deployment in this article.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA select datastore

We need now to configure networking details. Pay attention to the system name (you will not be able to change it afterwards). Make sure you already have A and PTR records for VCSA in your DNS server (if you miss this one, deployment will fail). Read more on DNS requirements.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA configure network

Review all the settings and if everything is alright, click Finish.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA ready to complete

Now it’s time for a coffee refill :-). We’ll have to wait for the appliance deployment. Duration depends of a lot of factors (network bandwidth and latency between components, storage type and contention, etc.).

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA deploying appliance

First stage is now complete. We have the appliance ready and powered-on on the target ESXi server. To move to the second stage, click Continue.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA deployment complete

Stage 2 wizard starts. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA stage 2

Choose time synchronization mode. You can either name the desired NTP server, either opt for synchronization with the ESXi host. Second option is about enabling SSH. You can change both options later in appliance console. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA appliance configuration

We’re now at SSO configuration. Choose your domain name, password and the site name. You cannot change the SSO administrator username. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA SSO configuration

We’re now deciding if we want to join VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program. Click Next.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA configure CEIP

Review all the details. If alright, click Finish.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA ready to complete

We see a warning now. Once started, we will not be able to pause or stop the installation process. Click OK.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA warning

Appliance configuration starts now. As warned, we have no button to cancel the process.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA appliance setup

After some time, configuration will complete.

Install VCSA 6.5 - VCSA complete

Now you have all the steps required to install VCSA 6.5 (VMware vCenter Server Appliance).

If you want to make sure you run the latest vCenter Server Appliance version or if you want to plan the update, check this article: How to Update vCenter Server Appliance to 6.5 Update 1b.

Happy VM managing 🙂

 

 

 

Constantin Ghioc

I usually play with vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator and different AWS tools. In my other life, I’m a husband and a father, an amateur photographer and a Go enthusiast.

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