There is only so many installations of a Windows or Linux box you can do before you ask yourself if there is any easier way to do this. In order to use templates and automate your VM building tasks, one of the choices is to use Vsphere with a variety of tools that plug in like Vagrant, Chef, or Puppet.
First we must acquire the VCSA 6.0 ISO and have a VM or other Windows Host on which to run the VSphere installer from. For me this is just my Windows 10 Laptop.
First we browse the ISO to /vcsa/VMWare-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe and install the Plugin. This is needed to run the installer which is Web Browser Based.
Once installed we open vcsa-setup.html
On Internet Explorer, you will be prompted twice to accept the Client Integration Plugin Access to your system. Accept the access and you will see the Install Window for vCenter Server Appliance 6.0
First we click Install and Accept the License Agreement
Then we enter the IP, User, and Password for our ESXi Host
You will be prompted to trust your SSL Certificate, and since its the default install certificate it will be for localhost.localdomain. If you have changed your hostname it won’t match and won’t be trusted. You can click Yes to accept and continue.
The installer will Validate your setup and if any connection issues are found, it will let you know. Then it asks you to set the appliance name, and OS Password. Set these as appropriate. When setting the OS Password be sure to have an uppercase, lowercase, and special character as it is required by the installer.
For our installation, since it is such a small VCenter Install, we are going to go with the Embedded Platform Service Controller.
Next we create our SSO or Single Sign On Domain. If you plan to have Active Directory Integration, you need to be sure that your Domain Name and Site Name are different than your Active Directory Forest Name.
Next you pick your Appliance Size. The Tiny Size fits our installation well, but just incase we decided to bigger, I have decided to go to the Small Size.
Next Select your Datastore. Be sure there is enough space to fit your VMs. The Installer states 150GB is needed, so I have chose a Datastore that has at least that. I have also enabled Thin Disk Mode as it only allocates storage as needed.
We chose the embedded database.
We chose the appropriate Network Settings. Since my entire homelab is 10Gbe, I want to be sure that I am using a 10gbe Virtual Switch/Network.
The installer will warn you not to use DHCP, but if you do reservations of DHCP address you will be fine. Finally accept the Customer Improvement Settings and Finish the installer so that it can build your VMs. If you want to see how the installer is doing, hop over to your Web Page for your ESXi host.
Once the VM is built you can also watch it do the installation.
Once it’s finished, verify you can login and off you go!