HomeVirtualizationVDIVDI-LAB-2018 – Part 7 – Installing and configuring vCenter server 6.5

VDI-LAB-2018 – Part 7 – Installing and configuring vCenter server 6.5


In this part, we are going to install and configure vCenter server 6.5 (Windows-based). We need to prepare the server before the installation, adding the vCenter user created on the domain controller, applying user rights, and preparing SQL Server native client. Then, we can proceed with the vCenter installation and initial configuration.

NOTE: Using vCenter server windows based is for academic purposes (and nostalgia). vCenter will be discarded from the vSphere suite any time soon, probably in vSphere version 7.

NOTE: Using VCSA is recommended, fewer steps will be required for a VDI infrastructure. The big difference is that the vCenter user and some extra configurations are not necessary. For the VCSA option, follow the same steps of part 3 of this series.

This is part 7 out of 12 of the VDI LAB series. Check out the introduction first.

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The ultimate VDI deployment guide (from scratch) with VMware vSphere 6.5 and Horizon View 7.3 – 2018. 😉

1. Prerequisites

  • Windows Server 2016 template, previously created in part 4 of this series
  • vCenter 6.5 (or 6.7) image.
  • SQL Server 2012 Native Client image (It will be downloaded in section 3)

2. Preparing the VM

  1. Deploy the VM from the template previously created.
  2. Configure a static IP address.
  3. Change computer name and add the server to the domain.
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If you go to your domain controller, the server should be added in the default Computers folder. Move it to the Computers OU created during the domain controller set up.

3. Before vCenter installation

3.1 Add vCenter user to admins group

  1. Go to Windows / Computer Management
Computer Management
  1. Go to Local Users and Groups / Groups, right-click on Administrators and click Properties.
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  1. Click Add... button.
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  1. Type vCenter user (previously created), click Check Names and Click OK.
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  1. Input Domain Controller credentials.
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  1. The vCenter user will be added to the Administrators group.
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3.2 Add vCenter user to “Log on as a service” policy

  1. Go to Windows / Windows Administrative tools.
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  1. Double-click on Local Security Policy
Local Security Policy
  1. From Local Security Policy, go to Local Policies / User Rights Assignment, double-click on Log on as a service.
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  1. Click Add user or group...
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  1. Type vCenter user, click Check Names and Click OK.
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  1. Type Domain controller server credentials and the vCenter user will be added to the log-on as a service policy.
  2. Log out of the computer and sing in back using the vCenter user.
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3.3 Install SQL Server Native Client

  1. Make sure that .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.6 features are installed in the server.
.NET Framework 3.5 and 4.6
  1. Got to Microsoft web page and download Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client.
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  1. Double-click to start the installation wizard.
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  1. Click Next.
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  1. Accept the license and click Next.
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  1. Leave as default and click Next.
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  1. Click Install.
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  1. After the installation is completed, click Finish.
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3.4 Configure ODBC data source

  1. Go to System and Security / Administrative Tools, double-click ODBC Data Sources (64-bits)
ODBC Data Sources (64-bits)
  1. Select System DNS tab and click Add...
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  1. Select SQL Server Native Client 11.0 and click Finish.
SQL Server Native Client 11.0
  1. Name the Data Source and select the SQL server previously created from the drop-list. Click Next.
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  1. Select Windows Authentications and click Next.
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  1. Select the Database created for vCenter from the drop-list. Click Next.
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  1. Leave as default and click Finish.
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  1. Test the Data Source… Make sure that the “Tests Completed Successfully”.
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4. vCenter 6.5 installation

  1. After all previous steps, now is time to install vCenter. Double-click the vCenter image.
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  1. From the installation wizard select vCenter Server for Windows and click Install
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  1. Click Next.
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  1. Accept EULA and click Next.
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  1. Select Embedded Deployment and click Next.
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  1. Enter the vCenter domain name and click Next.
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  1. Ignore the warning message and click OK.
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  1. Enter vCenter SSO domain name and password. Click Next.
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  1. Select Specify a user service account, type vCenter user (domain format) and password. Click Next.
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  1. Select User an external database, select the vCenter database from the drop-list. Click Next.
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  1. Leave ports as default if possible. Click Next.
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  1. Leave Destination Directory as default and click Next.
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  1. Decide whether to join or not customer experience. Click Next.
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  1. Review setting and click Install.
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  1. Wait for the installation to complete.
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  1. After the setup is completed, click Finish.
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5. vCenter 6.5 configuration

Connect to the vCenter Server through vSphere Web Client. Use the SSO credentials during the installation.

5.1 Add Identity Source

@vSphere Web Client

  1. Go to Home / Administration / Configuration / Identity Sources and click “plus” button.
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  1. Select Active Directory (Integrated Windows Authentication). Click Next.
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  1. Type Domain Name and click Next.
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  1. Click Finish to Complete.
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  1. The Active Directory will be added to the Identity Sources list.
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5.2 Add vCenter Role

  1. Go to Home / Administration / Roles and click the “plus” button.
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  1. Name the role and check Host / Configuration. Click OK.
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  1. Right-click on the vCenter server and select Add Permissions...
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  1. Select the domain and find the vCenter user created. Click Add.
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  1. Follow steps as the image below and click OK.
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  1. vCenter role and user will be added to the vCenter permissions.
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Juan Mulford
Juan Mulford
I have been active in IT for over fourteen years now. I am a solutions architect, working with storage, virtualization, and VDI solutions. For the past ten years, I have been living and working in Taiwan.

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