Before installing vCenter Server, review the prerequisites.

You must have the installation DVD or download the installation ISO image.

Your hardware must meet the requirements listed in vCenter Server and vSphere Client Hardware Requirements and the required ports must be open, as discussed in Required Ports.

Your database must meet the database requirements. See vCenter Server Database Patch and Configuration Requirements and Preparing the vCenter Server Databases.

If the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server has VirtualCenter installed, you might want to upgrade instead of performing a fresh installation of vCenter Server.

Important

If you want to keep your existing VirtualCenter configuration, see the Upgrade Guide.

There must be no Network Address Translation (NAT) between the vCenter Server system and the hosts it will manage.

Create a vCenter Server database, unless you plan to install the bundled SQL Server 2005 Express.

The system that you use for your vCenter Server installation must belong to a domain rather than a workgroup. If assigned to a workgroup, the vCenter Server system is not able to discover all domains and systems available on the network when using such features as vCenter Guided Consolidation Service. To use vCenter Linked Mode, multiple vCenter Server systems should be added to a domain. To determine whether the system belongs to a workgroup or a domain, right-click My Computer and click Properties and the Computer Name tab. The Computer Name tab displays either a Workgroup label or a Domain label.

During the installation, the connection between the machine and the domain controller must be working.

The computer name cannot be more than 15 characters.

The DNS name of the machine must match the actual computer name.

Make sure the system on which you are installing vCenter Server is not an Active Directory domain controller.

On each system that is running vCenter Server, make sure that the domain user account has the following permissions:

Member of the Administrators group

Act as part of the operating system

Log on as a service

Assign a static IP address and host name to the Windows server that will host the vCenter Server system. This IP address must have a valid (internal) domain name system (DNS) registration that resolves properly from all managed ESX hosts.

If you install vCenter Server on Windows Server 2003 SP1, the disk for the installation directory must have the NTFS format, not the FAT32 format.

Consider whether the vCenter Server instance will be standalone or in a Linked Mode group. See Creating vCenter Server Linked Mode Groups.

vCenter Server, like any other network server, should be installed on a machine with a fixed IP address and well-known DNS name, so that clients can reliably access the service. If you use DHCP instead of a static IP address for vCenter Server, make sure that the vCenter Server computer name is updated in the domain name service (DNS). One way to test this is by pinging the computer name. For example, if the computer name is host-1.company.com, run the following command in the Windows command prompt:

ping host-1.company.com

If you can ping the computer name, the name is updated in DNS.