Installing VMWare VCenter 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with SQL Server 2014

VMWare Vcenter6

With VMWare recently releasing VSphere 6 products, I will show you how to install VMWare VCenter 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 using MS SQL Server 2014 as the backend Database. As similar to my VCenter 5.5 Update 2 install guide, please read the Prerequisites 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) An AD Service 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_vcenter1service”).

2) This guide assumes you already have a MS SQL Server 2014 installed and configured.

3) .NET Framework 3.5 needs to be installed on the VCenter Server before installation.

Section 1) SQL Server Preparation
1) Log into your SQL Server Instance using “SQL Server Management Tool” (In this example, I am using SQL1.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 “VCDB6”).
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 VCenter Service Account (In this example “svc_vcenter1service” 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

7) Right click on the SQL Server itself and click on “Properties”.
SQL Server Properties

8) In the SQL Server Properties Menu, go to the “Permissions” Tab. Select the VCenter Service account and ensure that you grant the account permissions for “View any definition” and View server state”.
SQL Server Permissions

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 VCENTER1.PZ.LOCAL will be my new VCenter Server and “svc_vcenter1service” is the VCenter Account).
VCenter Service Account in the Administrator Group

2) You will then need to open the “Local Security Policy” Window to make your VCenter Service account have “Log on as a service” Privilege.
Local Security Policy

3) Ensure to log into your VCenter Server (VCENTER1.PZ.LOCAL) with your VCenter Service Account (svc_vcenter1service).
Login with VCenter Service Account

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

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

6) 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

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

8) 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

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

10) 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

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

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

Section2) Installing VCenter Server
1) Mount the VCenter 6 ISO into your VCenter Server and have Autorun execute. A VCenter Installation Window will appear. Make sure “vCenter Server for Windows” is selected and click on “Install”.
Mount VCenter 6 ISO and Install

2) The VCenter Server Setup Window will appear. Click on “Next”.
VCenter Setup

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

4) Choose the “Embedded Deployment” and click on “Next”.
Choose Deployment Method

5) Ensure that your System Name DNS is correct and then click on “Next”.
Check System Name DNS

6) This warning may come up if you have IPv6 enabled. If you are only using the FQDN for IPv4 then you can ignore this and click on “OK”.
IPv6 Warning

7) For the vCenter Single Sign-On Configuration, we will go with the defaults and create a new vCenter Single Sign-On domain. Type in the password for the administrator account, the Site name, and then click on “Next”.
VCenter Single Sign On Configuration

8) We will choose to “Specify a user service account” and we will use the VCenter Service Account that we are currently using (In this example it is svc_vcenter1service).
Choose Service Account

9) Choose “Use an external database” and select the OBDC Connection you created earlier. Click on “Next” when finished.
Choose Database Connection

10) Leave the Ports to the defaults and click on “Next”.
VCenter Ports

11) You can change the location where VCenter installs itself. Once finish, click on “Next”.
VCenter Installation Path

12) Review the installation settings. Once done, click on “Install”.
Review Installation Settings

13) Wait for the installation to finish.
Wait for Installation to Finish

14) Once the installation is finished, click on “Finish”.
Finish Installation

After this is all done, your VCenter Server is up! You can now access your VCenter with your favorite browser on the HTTPS Port 443(HTTPS://VCENTERSERVER.LOCAL/VSPHERE-CLIENT/). Also remember to install the VSphere Web Plugin for your browser in order to make the VCenter experience better. You can then log in with the username you set during the VCenter Installation. After you are able to login you can add AD Authentication later.

I hope this has been helpful for you guys! 🙂