Saturday, 30 January 2016

Installing vCenter Appliance 6.0 With External PSC

Written by Suhas Savkoor

Previously, we had seen how to install Appliance 6.0 with embedded PSC. In this article, we will deploy an appliance 6.0 with external PSC. Where the platform service controller resides as one virtual machine and the vCenter node resides as another virtual machine.

  • As always, ensure the DNS entry is set up for the virtual machines in forward and reverse lookup zones. 
  • There will be two virtual machines deployed, one for PSC and the other one for vCenter node. They both have their own IP address and own FQDN, and the forward and reverse lookup must be configured for each one of them prior to proceeding with the deployment. 
  • A windows machine that acts as a mount point for the ISO.

Deploying Platform Services Controller:

Step 1:
Mount the vCenter 6.0 appliance ISO on a Windows machine and install the client integration plugin from the " vcsa "  folder.
Once the client integration plugin is installed go to root directory of the ISO and open the vcsa-setup.html file (preferably using IE/Firefox) You will come across the below screen.

Click the Install option to begin the setup wizard.

Step 2:
Accept the EULA terms and conditions and proceed Next

Step 3:
  • Provide the details of the ESXi host on which you want to deploy the PSC node. 
  • FQDN or IP address of the ESXi host; root user and its password. 

Step 4:
  • Give a short name to this appliance, this name can be anything. However, I prefer to keep this name same as the short name that I added in the DNS record. 
  • Provide a new password for the root user of the appliance.

Step 5:
  • You will come across the deployment type screen. Since this is an external deployment, we will go with the second part. And since PSC contains the SSO, certificates, lciesing and other services, this node has to be deployed first. 
  • Select Install Platform Services Controller

Step 6:
  • This is the first node that we are deploying, hence select the Create a new SSO domain option.
  • Enter a new password for the SSO user of the appliance.
  • SSO domain name: This has to be a unique domain name. It can be anything, here I am using the "vsphere.local" as my SSO domain. The SSO user then would beadministrator@vsphere.local
  • SSO site name: Any site name that is required.
*Note* If you have an existing domain in your active directory, say,, DO NOT use this domain as your SSO domain. This will prevent you from adding users under to domain to the vCenter for management. 

    Step 7:
    Select a datastore where the PSC node should reside.

    Step 8:
    • Fill out the Network Settings for the PSC node
    • Network label: Where the appliance should reside on your vSwitch/DVswitch port-group
    • IP address of the appliance and FQDN of the appliance. Again, this has to be reflected in the DNS entry.
    • Subnet, gateway and DNS server entry. Enabled SSH if required at the very last.

    Proceed Next and begin the installation. Once the installation is complete, you will be asked to manually start the vCenter Server install. 

    Deploying vCenter Server Node:

    Step 1:
    Click the Install button on the web page and begin the installation again.
    *Step 1 to 4 remain the same*

    Step 2:
    In the Deployment Type select the Install  vCenter Server option and proceed Next

    Step 3:
    • We need to join this vCenter to previously deployed PSC node. 
    • Enter the PSC node's FQDN (Preferred than IP address)
    • vCenter SSO password that was configured in the previous steps for authentication
    • Leave the port at 443

    Step 4:
    Select the size of the appliance depending on the inventory size of your environment. 

    Step 5:
    Select a datastore on which the vCenter node should reside.

    Step 6:
    Select the type of database for vCenter. vPostgres would be an express database for the appliance unless you have an external Oracle database. SQL DB is not yet supported for appliance.

    Step 7:
    Enter the vCenter node's network details

    Proceed Next and begin the installation. 
    Once the deployment is complete, login to vCenter using Windows Client or Web Client and verify it is working good. Since I have deployed a GA version of the appliance you do not have the Web GUI management page for the appliance. This is only available from 6.0 Update 1 onward.


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