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.


Choose the type of database that you want to use.

If you want to use the bundled database, click Install SQL Server 2005 Express instance (for small-scale deployments) and enter the password of the Windows user that will be the vCenter Server administrator.

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

If you want to use an existing database, click Use an existing supported database and select your database from the list of available DSNs. Enter the user name and password for the DSN and click Next.

If your database is a local SQL Server database using Windows NT authentication, leave the user name and password fields blank.

If you specify a remote SQL Server database that uses Windows NT authentication, the database user and the logged-in user on the vCenter Server machine must be the same.

A dialog box might appear warning you that the DSN points to an older version of a repository that must be upgraded. If you click Yes, the installer upgrades the database schema, making the database irreversibly incompatible with previous VirtualCenter versions. See the vSphere Upgrade Guide.


Set the login information for vCenter Server.

If you are using a non-bundled database, 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.

If you are using the bundled SQL Server database, select Use SYSTEM Account and click Next.

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


Either accept the default destination folders or click Change to select another location, and click Next.

The installation path cannot have commas (,) or periods (.).


To install the vCenter Server on a drive other than C:, verify that there is enough space in the C:\WINDOWS\Installer folder to install the Microsoft Windows Installer .msi file. If you do not have enough space, your vCenter Server installation might fail.


(Optional) Choose the VPX agent upgrade option you want to use.

A VPX agent upgrade is required if vCenter Server will manage hosts that have been managed by older versions of vCenter Server. If this installation of vCenter Server will use a database upgraded from an older installation of vCenter Server that managed hosts, then the VPX agents will need to be upgraded.

Select Automatic if you want vCenter Server to automatically upgrade the VPX agents for the hosts.

Select Manual if you want to manually upgrade the VPX agents for hosts.


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

Join a Linked Mode group to enable the vSphere Client to view, search, and manage data across multiple vCenter Server systems. See Creating vCenter Server Linked Mode Groups.

This option does not appear if you are upgrading the VirtualCenter or vCenter Server database schema. If it does not appear, you can join a Linked Mode group after the installation is complete.


If you join a group, enter the fully qualified domain name and LDAP port number of any remote vCenter Server system and click Next.

In some cases, you can enter the IP address instead of the fully qualified domain name. To help ensure connectivity, the best practice is to use the fully qualified domain name. For IPv6, unless both the local and the remote machine are in IPv6 mode, you must enter the fully qualified domain name of the remote machine instead of the IPv6 address. If the local machine has an IPv4 address and the remote machine has an IPv6 address, the local machine must support IPv4 and IPv6 mixed mode. The domain name server must be able to resolve both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses if your environment has both addressing types in a single Linked Mode group.


Enter the port numbers that you want to use or accept the default port numbers and click Next.

See Required Ports.


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.