Install vCenter Server to manage multiple hosts.

To get started with vCenter Server quickly and manage the host you set up, you can install vCenter Server on a desktop or laptop. You must install vCenter Server on a Windows machine that has network access to the ESXi host. For production use, VMware recommends that you install vCenter Server on a dedicated server system.

Before you install vCenter Server, make sure your system meets the minimum hardware and software requirements. vCenter Server requires a database. vCenter Server uses Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express for small deployments with up to 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. For larger deployments, VMware supports several Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases. Refer to the vSphere Compatibility Matrixes for the list of supported databases.