You can install vCenter Server in a Microsoft Windows virtual machine, which runs on an ESX host.

Deploying the vCenter Server system in the virtual machine has the following advantages:

Rather than dedicating a separate server to the vCenter Server system, you can place it in a virtual machine running on the same ESX host where your other virtual machines run.

You can provide high availability for the vCenter Server system by using VMware HA.

You can migrate the virtual machine containing the vCenter Server system from one host to another, enabling maintenance and other activities.

You can create snapshots of the vCenter Server virtual machine and use them for backups, archiving, and so on.


On a standalone server, install ESX.


On any machine that has network access to your ESX host, install the vSphere Client.


Using the vSphere Client, access the ESX host directly to create the virtual machine for hosting vCenter Server.


In the virtual machine, install vCenter Server.