vCenter Server allows you to centrally manage hosts from either a physical or virtual Windows machine, and enables the management of a VSA cluster as well as the use of advanced features such as vSphere High Availability (HA), vSphere vMotion, and vSphere Storage vMotion.

You can install vCenter Server on a separate 64-bit physical server. You can also install ESXi on that system and deploy vCenter Server in a virtual machine within the host. The host that runs vCenter Server can be a part of the VSA cluster.

Before you install vCenter Server, make sure your system meets the minimum hardware and software requirements. vCenter Server requires a database. Refer to the vSphere Compatibility Matrixes for the list of supported databases recommended for small or larger deployments.


If you run vCenter Server in a virtual machine, enable memory reservations on the virtual machine. For information, see Change Memory Reservations on a Virtual Machine in the vSphere Web Client.

Install vCenter Server using the vCenter Server Simple Install option. You must also install the vSphere Web Client, which lets you connect to a vCenter Server system to manage ESXi hosts through a browser. For information about installing the vSphere Web Client, see the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.