This manual, Basic System Administration, describes how to start and stop the VMware® vSphere™ Client components, build your vSphere environment, monitor and manage the information generated about the components, and set up roles and permissions for users and groups using the vSphere environment. This manual also provides information for managing, creating, and configuring virtual machines in your datacenter.

In addition, this manual provides brief introductions to the various tasks you can perform within the system as well as cross-references to the documentation that describes all the tasks in detail.

Basic System Administration covers ESX, ESXi, and vCenter Server.

The information presented in this manual is written for system administrators who are experienced Windows or Linux system administrators and who are familiar with virtual machine technology and datacenter operations.

VMware welcomes your suggestions for improving our documentation. If you have comments, send your feedback to

The vSphere documentation consists of the combined VMware vCenter Server and ESX/ESXi documentation set.

The figures in this manual use the abbreviations listed in Abbreviations.





vCenter Server database


Storage for the managed host


Storage disk for the managed host


vCenter Server managed hosts


Storage area network type datastore shared between managed hosts




User with access permissions


vCenter Server


Virtual machines on a managed host

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VMware Education Services courses offer extensive hands-on labs, case study examples, and course materials designed to be used as on-the-job reference tools. Courses are available onsite, in the classroom, and live online. For onsite pilot programs and implementation best practices, VMware Consulting Services provides offerings to help you assess, plan, build, and manage your virtual environment. To access information about education classes, certification programs, and consulting services, go to