Middle of October 2022, VMware released the new version 8 of the vCenter Server. Finally I got some time to update my home lab. In this article I will demonstrate how to install VMware vCenter Server 8.
To start, you need an installation kit of vCenter Server 8. For this article, I will use the GA version of vCenter Server 8.0.0 – VMware-VCSA-all-8.0.0-20519528.iso.
Same as in the previous versions of vCenter Server, the installation process consists in two separate stages. At the end of the first stage you will have the appliance installed, then in the second stage you will configure it.
Install vCenter Server 8 – Stage 1 – Install the VM
To launch the installer I will use a Windows virtual machine (you can also use a Mac or a Linux system). Unzip the ISO archive and navigate to VMware-VCSA-all-8.0.0-20519528\vcsa-ui-installer\win32 folder. Launch installer.exe and begin to install vCenter Server 8.
vCenter Server 8 installer will start. Click on Install.
You will proceed now with the first stage, the deployment of the vCenter Server appliance. Click Next.
Read the End user license agreement, check “I accept the terms of the license agreement” checkbox and click Next.
You have to enter now the details of the ESXi server or of another vCenter instance where you will deploy the new vCenter Server 8 appliance. Click Next.
Installer will connect now to the ESXi server or the vCenter appliance specified on previous screen. If you don’t have trust relationship configured, you will receive a certificate warning. Click Yes.
In the next screen, you need to specify the appliance name (this is the name of the virtual machine that you will see in vSphere Client, and not the FQDN of the vCenter) and the root password. Click Next.
For next step you need to select the deployment size. You can see on screen a table with the resources allocated for different deployment sizes. You mainly choose the deployment size based on the estimation of number of hosts and virtual machines that will be managed by the vCenter instance. Click Next.
Select on which ESXi datastore you want to deploy the appliance. You have also the option to enable thin disk mode. 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.
You need to configure the DNS records of the vCenter appliance. Before moving on, make sure you already have A and PTR records for vCenter Server configured in your DNS server (if you miss this one, deployment will fail).
I check below for forward and reverse name resolutions in my environment:
- My DNS server – dns.cloudhat.local -192.168.0.222
- My future vCenter Server – vcenter.cloudhat.local – 192.168.0.200
You need now to configure networking details. Pay attention to the system name (you will not be able to change it afterwards). To avoid deployment failure, double-check the FQDN and the IP address. Click Next.
Review all the settings and if everything is correct, click Finish.
The wizard starts now to deploy the vCenter Server 8.
First stage is now complete. The appliance is ready and powered-on on the target ESXi/vCenter server. To move to the second stage, click Continue.
Install vCenter Server 8 – Stage 2 – Configuration
Stage 2 wizard begins. Click Next.
Choose the 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 the appliance console. Click Next.
You will configure now the single sign-on domain. Specify your SSO domain name and the administrator password. As you can see, you can’t change the SSO administrator username (it will always be “administrator”). Click Next.
Decide if you want to join VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program. Click Next.
Review all the details. If they look good, click Finish.
You will see a warning. Once you click OK, you will not be able to pause or stop the installation process. Click OK.
Appliance configuration starts now. As expected, you have no button to cancel the process.
After some time, configuration will complete.
Now you have a fully functional VMware vCenter Server 8 instance. Happy VM managing!