vCenter Server allows you to centrally manage hosts from either a physical or virtual Windows machine, and enables the management of a VSA cluster as well as the use of advanced features such as vSphere High Availability (HA), vSphere vMotion, and vSphere Storage vMotion.

You can install vCenter Server on a separate 64-bit physical server. You can also install ESXi on that system and deploy vCenter Server in a virtual machine within the host. The host that runs vCenter Server can be a part of the VSA cluster.

Before you install vCenter Server, make sure your system meets the minimum hardware and software requirements. vCenter Server requires a database. Refer to the vSphere Compatibility Matrixes for the list of supported databases recommended for small or larger deployments.

Note: If you run vCenter Server in a virtual machine, enable memory reservations on the virtual machine.

Install vCenter Server using the vCenter Server Simple Install option. You must also install the vSphere Web Client, which lets you connect to a vCenter Server system to manage ESXi hosts through a browser. For information about installing the vSphere Web Client, see the vSphere Installation and Setup documentation.