You can add hosts under a datacenter object, folder object, or cluster object. If a host contains virtual machines, those virtual machines are added to the inventory together with the host.

Verify that a datacenter, folder, or cluster exists in the inventory.

Obtain the user name and password of the root user account for the host.

Verify that hosts behind a firewall are able to communicate with the vCenter Server system and all other hosts through port 902 or other custom-configured port.

Verify that all NFS mounts on the host are active.

Required privileges:

Host.Inventory.Add host to cluster

Resource.Assign virtual machine to resource pool

System.View on the virtual machines folder where you want to place the virtual machines of the host.


In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to a datacenter, cluster, or folder within a datacenter.


Right-click the datacenter, cluster, or folder and select Add Host.


Type the IP address or the name of the host and click Next.


Type administrator credentials and click Next.


Review the host summary and click Next.


Assign a license key to the host.

Assign an existing license key

Choose from the license keys that are available in the inventory of the vCenter Server system where you add the host. If the host is already licensed, you can choose its currently assigned license key. If the host resides in the inventory of another vCenter Server system, its license will be copied to the inventory of this vCenter Server system. After you add the host to this vCenter Server system, make sure to remove its license key from the inventory of the host's previous vCenter Server system.

Assign a new license key

Add a new license key and assign it to the host.


(Optional) Select Enable Lockdown Mode to disable remote access for the administrator account after vCenter Server takes control of this host.

Selecting this check box ensures that the host is managed only through vCenter Server. You can perform certain management tasks while in lockdown mode by logging into the local console on the host.


(Optional) If you add the host to a datacenter or a folder, select a location for the virtual machines that reside on the host and click Next.


Review the summary and click Finish.

A new task for adding the host appears in the Recent Tasks pane. It might take a few minutes for the task to complete.