In vCenter Server 5.1 with vCenter Single Sign On, the way you set the vCenter Server administrator user depends on your vCenter Single Sign On deployment.

In vSphere versions before vSphere 5.1, vCenter Server administrators are the users that belong to the local operating system administrators group.

In vSphere 5.1, when you install vCenter Server, you must provide the default (initial) vCenter Server administrator user or group. For small deployments where vCenter Server and vCenter Single Sign-On are deployed on the same host machine, you can designate the local operating system group Administrators as vCenter Server administrative users. This option is the default. This behavior is unchanged from vCenter Server 5.0.

For larger installations, where vCenter Single Sign-On and vCenter Server are deployed on different hosts, you cannot preserve the same behavior as in vCenter Server 5.0. Instead, assign the vCenter Server administrator role to a user or group from an identity source that is registered in the vCenter Single Sign-On server: Active Directory, OpenLDAP, or the system identity source.