vCenter Server allows you to centrally manage hosts from either a physical or virtual Windows machine, and enables the use of advanced features such as VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), VMware High Availability (HA), and VMware VMotion.


In the software installer directory, double-click the autorun.exe file at C:\<installer location>\.


Click vCenter Server.

vCenter Server 4.0 installation selection window with vCenter Server link selected


Choose a language for the installer and click OK.


When the Welcome screen appears, click Next.


Select I agree to the terms in the license agreement and click Next.


Type your user name, organization, and vCenter Server license key, and click Next.

If you omit the license key, vCenter Server will be in evaluation mode, which allows you to use the full feature set. After installation, you can convert vCenter Server to licensed mode by entering the license key using the vSphere Client.


Click Install SQL Server 2005 Express instance (for small-scale deployments).

This database is suitable for small deployments of up to 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines.

VMware vCenter Server installation wizard Database Option page with Install a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express instance option selected


Enter the administrator name and password that you use when you log in to the system on which you are installing vCenter Server and click Next.

You need the user name and password entered here to log in to vCenter Server after you have installed it.


Select Use SYSTEM Account and click Next.

VMware vCenter Server installation window vCenter Service page with Use SYSTEM Account option selected


Accept the default destination folders and click Next.

VMware vCenter Server installation wizard vCenter Linked Mode Options page with Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance option selected


Select Create a standalone VMware vCenter Server instance and click Next.


For each component that you install, accept the default port numbers and click Next.

If another service is already using the defaults, specify alternative port and proxy information.


Click Install.

Installation might take several minutes. Multiple progress bars appear during the installation of the selected components.


Click Finish.

After you complete the installation, use the vSphere Client to connect to vCenter Server.