Installing VMWare VCenter 5.5 Update 2 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2014

In today’s post I will show you how to install VMWare VCenter 5.5 Update on Windows Server 2012 R2 using MS SQL Server 2014 as the backend Database. Please read the Pre-requsites section first before beginning! The installation is split into 3 sections. The 1st section is getting the SQL Server Prepared, the 2nd Section is getting the VCenter Server Prepared, and the 3rd Section being the VCenter Installation itself. Please note that this installation may not be Best Practice as this is just a guide to quickly get VCenter Running.

1) You are using Microsoft Active Directory in your Network.

2) You Have an AD Account created for running the VCenter Service and accessing the SQL Server Database. Create the account to only be a Domain User privileges and Password to not Expire(In this guide we will use this account name as an example: “svc_vcenter2service”).

3) You already have MS SQL Server 2014 installed and configured.

4) .NET Framework 3.5 is installed on the VCenter Server before installation (Not a must but makes the installation a bit more smooth).

Section 1) SQL Server Preparations
1) Log into your SQL Server Instance using “SQL Server Management Tool” (In this example, I am using SQL2.PZ.LOCAL as the SQL Server Backend).
Accessing SQL Server Management Tool

2) Right click on “Databases” and click on “New Database…”.
Create New Database

3) Name the Database appropriately and then click on “OK” to create the Database. You can also go into the “Options” Tab to change the Recovery Model if needed (In this example I named the Database “VCDB_PZ”).
Name Database

4) Go to the “Security” Drop down box and click on the “+” to bring down more folders. Right click on “Logins” and click on “New Login…”
Create New Login

5) Ensure that the Login name you select is your Active Directory VCenter Service Account (In this example “svc_vcenter2service” and that the VCenter Database that you created is set as the Default Database
Select the VCenter Service Account

6) Click on “User Mapping” in the left tab. Ensure that you map the “msdb” and VCenter Database to the User Account and also make it the “db_owner” for both Databases. Once done click on “OK”
User Mapping Selection

Section2) Prepare the VCenter Server before Installation
1) You will need to make the VCenter Service Account to be a Local Administrator on your VCenter Server (In this example VCENTER2.PZ.LOCAL will be my new VCenter Server and “svc_vcenter2service” is the VCenter Account).
VCenter Service Account in the Administrator Group

2) Ensure to log into your VCenter Server (VCENTER2.PZ.LOCAL) with your VCenter Service Account (svc_vcenter2service).
Login with VCenter Service Account

3) Download the MS SQL Server 2012 Native Client X64 from the following link and install only the “Client Components”.

4) Open “Administrative Tools” and go to “ODBC Data Sources (64-bit)”.
ODBC Data Sources X64

5) In the “ODBC Data Source Administrator (64-bit)” Window, click on the “System DSN” Tab and then click on the “Add” button.
Add System DSN

6) Select “SQL Server Native Client 11.0” and then click on “Finish”.
SQL Server Native client 11 Selection

7) In this Window, put in the Name of the connection and also the SQL Server you want the VCenter Server to connect to. Click on “Next” when finished.
Name of the SQL Connection

8) Make sure “Integrated Windows Authentication” is selected and click on “Next”.
Authenication Selection

9) Make sure that the VCenter Database you created on the SQL server is the Default Database. Once that is complete click on “Next”.
Change Default Database Connection

10) In this Window, Click on “Finished”
Finish Selection

11) Click on “OK” to close this Window.
Click OK to close Window

Section3) Installing VCenter Server
1) Mount the VCenter 5.5 ISO into your VCenter Server and have Autorun execute. A VCenter Installation Window will appear. Make sure “Simple Install” is selected and click on “Install”.
Mount VCenter 5.5 ISO

2) The VCenter Single Sign On Setup Window will appear. Click on “Next”.
VCenter Single Sign On Setup

3) Accept the License Agreement and click on “Next”.
License Agreement

4) Ensure that the checkbox to add your AD as the Active Directory identity source is checked in and click on “Next”.
Active Directory

5) Type in the password for the local VSphere Administrator account and click on “Next”.
Local VSphere Administrator Password

6) Type in the name of your VCenter Site and click on “Next”.
VCenter Site Name

7) Click “Next” to accept the Default Port Assignment.
Default Single Sign On Port

8) Click “Next” to accept the Default Installation Location.
Default Installation Location

9) Click on “Install” to begin installing the Single Sign-On Component.
Install Single Sign-On Component

10) If this Window Pops Up during the installation, keep clicking on “No”.
Windows Pop Up

11) Wait for the Installation to finish.
Wait for the Installation to Finish

12) Once the VMWare vSphere Web Client installation begins. Click on “Yes”.
Accept SSL SHA1 Certificate

13) Once the VSphere Web Client installation is finished, the VCenter Inventory Service will install.
VCenter Inventory Service Installation

14) Once the VCenter Inventory Service is installed, the VCenter Server installation will start. If you are just Evaluating VCenter then you can leave the License blank. Then click on “Next”.
VCenter License Key Input

15) Make sure to select “Use an existing supported database” and select the ODBC connection you created earlier.
Use existing supported Database

16) In this Window, click on “Next”.
Click on Next to Confirm Selection

17) If you get this pop up, click on “OK”.
SQL Full Recovery Warning

18) Type in the password of your VCenter Service Account and click on “Next”.
VCenter Service Account Password

19) Click “Next” to accept the Default Ports.
Accept Default Ports

20) Select the Inventory size according to your environment and then click on “Next”.
Select Inventory Size

21) In this Window, click on “Install”.
Customer Data Collection

22) When this Window pops up, click on “Yes”.
Accept SSL SHA1 Fingerprint

23) Wait for the Installation to finish.
Wait for Installation to Finish

24) When the installation is done, click on “Finish”.
Installation Finish

After this is all done, your VCenter Server is up! You can now access your VCenter with your favorite browser on the HTTPS Port 9443(HTTPS://VCENTERSERVER.LOCAL:9443). Also remember to install the VSphere Web Plugin for your browser in order to make the VCenter experience better. You will need to access with the Username “[email protected]” and the password you set during the installation. After you are able to login you can add AD Authentication later.