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.


Choose a language for the installer and click OK.

This selection controls the language for only the installer.


When the Welcome screen appears, click Next.


Review the End-User Patent Agreement and click Next.


Read the license agreement. If you agree to the terms, 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.


Select Use SYSTEM Account and click Next.


Accept the default destination folders and click Next.


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.


Select the amount of memory to allocate to the vCenter JVM in Tomcat, according to the number of hosts in your environment.

You can adjust this setting after installation if the number of hosts in your environment changes.


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.