Installing vCenter Appliance 6

I got finally my head around installing vCenter Appliance 6. What an adventure… Everyone who has previously installed a vCenter Appliance is used to some easy and quick process via an OVA file. A quote from VMware about vSphere 6

With more than 650 new features and innovations, VMware vSphere 6 will provide customers with a highly available, resilient, on-demand cloud infrastructure to run, protect and manage any application. – See more at:—The-Foundation-for-Hybrid-Cloud/1920294#sthash.nM9LvQcJ.dpuf

650 new features and innovations? Sounds promising and you would expect things to work even easier and better than before. There are certainly some promising features but also some not so promising ones. In the case of vCenter 6, I’m not sure what happened.

So what has changed about vCenter 6? I would say almost everything, at least in regards to the install:

  • No OVA
  • No port 5480 admin page anymore
  • Requires a Windows system to deploy the vCenter VCA 6 which is Linux based. How ironic, right?
  • The installation is split in two parts
    • VMware Client-Integration Plugin
    • vCenter Server Appliance

Just the fact that I need to have a Windows system to deploy a Linux based VM sounds and feels wrong.
Since the setup isn’t straight forward anymore, below are the steps to get started:

  1. Login to and download the vCenter 6 ISO.Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.27.44 PM
  2. Connect the ISO to a Windows VM or use a tool like DEAMON Tools to connect the ISO to your local Windows system.
  3. Navigate to the VCSA folder on the ISO and run VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.55.27 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.55.35 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.55.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.55.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.56.18 PM
  4. Open vca-setup.html, located in root directory of the ISO and start the installation.Capture01Capture02
  5. Specify the ESXi where you want to run the vCenter Appliance Server on.Capture03
  6. Specify a VM name and the OS password for the vCSA 6Capture04
  7. With vCenter 6, VMware introduced the Platform Service Controller which is required for every vCenter 6 instance. Multiple vCenter instances can share the same Platform Service Controller. The Platform Service Controller is used so share services like Single-Sign-On between multiple vCenters.Note: In this example, I’ll use the embedded Platform Service Controller within the vCenter Server Appliance.Capture05
  8. Select whether you want to join an existing SSO domain or create a new one. I have chosen to create a new one.Capture06
  9. Select the size of your vCenter Server instance.
    Tiny – 10 hosts & 100 VMs
    Small – 100 hosts & 1000 VMs
    Medium – 400 hosts & 4000 VMs
    Large – 1000 hosts & 10,000 VMsCapture07
  10. Chose the datastore where you want to place your vCenter Service Appliance on and select “Enable Thin Disk Mode” to make the disk thin provisioned.Capture08
  11. Select if you want to use the embedded vPostgres or use an external Oracle DB.Capture09
  12. Next, configure the network settings.Capture10
  13. Review the summary of your configuration and click Finish.



Once you clicked Finish, the actual installation will start.
The deployCapture12ment and startup of the appliance will take roughly 10-15 minutes.




After the appliance is started you can login through either the vSphere Web-Client or the Windows Client with your SSO credentials. Make sure to login as administrator@ and not as root.


vSphere Performance Tips And Tricks

Setting up your vSphere environment became easier over the last couple of year but a lot has changed from vSphere 4.0 to vSphere 6.0. In this article I will provide vSphere performance tips and tricks, which will be applicable to vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0.



  1. To get the best performance out of your vSphere Web-Client, use Google Chrome.
  2. Have vCenter hosted on a SSD or some low latency storage to have a pleasant experience.
  3. Ensure that Hyper-Threading is enabled, vSphere fully understands and uses it.
  4. Disable any power-saving features in the BIOS of your servers. Power-saving modes might cut the available compute resources.
  5. Use VMXNET3 driver on all your VMs. VMXNET3 is the only network driver which gets actively maintained by VMware.
  6. If you’re running 1GB vmnics, you might saturate the link and create a bottleneck. Monitor the average throughput on your vmnics and consider upgrading to 10GB.
  7. Be aware that there is no performance advantage of using RDMs, VMDKs or iSCSI direct-attached drives. Avoid RDM if possible. It is an administrative nightmare.
  8. When using iSCSI, make sure to configure port-binding properly.
  9. If you run jumbo frames, test the configuration. You would be surprised how many people mis-configure jumbo frames from end to end.
  10. For performance troubleshooting, look at ESXTOP. Here is a good article about it.
  11. Follow VMwares performance blog for up to date tips and tricks.
  12. Enable DRS & SDRS to utilize your cluster resources efficiently.


Note: If you feel I’m missing some important tips & tricks, please comment on this port or engage me on twitter and I’ll add your suggestions.