Welcome to the first part in my 9 part series on the install and configuration of vCenter 5.1. Whether you want a multi-node or just a simple single node deployment you can use this guide, just follow the guide for the component that you want to install on its own server – that way your vCenter environment can be built to scale and serve larger environments. Separating the vCenter components over multiple hosts is most certainly recommended in medium to large environments, or where security requirements may dictate that certain management services run in a protected DMZ. I’m also working under the assumption that you are installing vCenter 5.1 Update 1 since it is now the latest supported version available.
First you’ll need to provision the server, in my case I used Windows Server 2008 R2 but Windows Server 2012 is supported and will work equally well too. I always have at least two drives; one for the OS and the other for any applications. This server will need at least 8GB RAM and 2 vCPUs to perform acceptably, I would tend to also set reservations for both CPU and memory – I’m pretty sure that if there is contention for memory on your ESX host you would like vCenter to continue performing acceptably to be able to troubleshoot the issue!
Create a domain account to be used to run the vCenter services under, ensure that the account is added to the local administrators group and that is added to the “Act as part of the operating system” user right is assigned to that user in the systems local security policy.
Install the .NET framework 2.5 feature from within Server Manager (Or using these handy PowerShell commands).
Also, I like to have my installers organized in a nice organized manner! I usually create a folder on the secondary partition called installers and drop all my installers here for easy access – if deploying the application across multiple servers I would also share this folder to enable easy access to my installation files from any of the nodes to be built.
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