Get started with vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client quickly with information about installation and initial setup. You can review how to install and set up a basic inventory for a multiple-host virtualization environment.

In this scenario, you are a system administrator who has at least one running ESXi host, and you want to use the advanced management capabilities of vCenter Server. You will use vCenter Simple Install to set up a basic single-node vCenter Server instance. You will install the vSphere Web Client and use its in-browser interface to add ESXi hosts to your vSphere inventory.

This scenario is a continuation of the vSphere familiarization that you began in Getting Started with ESXi, where you set up a single-host virtualization environment and deployed a Windows virtual machine.

You can manage multiple hosts at the same time with vCenter Server. Using vCenter Server to manage multiple hosts enables you to experiment with advanced management options, such as resource sharing, and all of the other options available within a virtual infrastructure.

For small vSphere deployments, vCenter Server 5.1 provides a vCenter Server Simple Install option that installs vCenter Single Sign On, Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same Windows system. You start vCenter Simple Install and the application runs the set of vCenter Service installers in the correct order.

The vSphere Web Client 5.1 provides you with the full set of capabilities you need to manage both simple and complex vSphere environments. After you install the server component of the vSphere Web Client, you can access the administrative interface in a Web browser.

You can deploy vCenter Server by using either the Windows installers or the preconfigured Linux-based vCenter Server Virtual Appliance. In this scenario, you install vCenter Server on the Windows operating system.

Workflows for Installation of vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client
Workflows for installation of vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client