To install vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller, first install a Platform Services Controller for Windows. The Platform Services Controller contains the common services, such as vCenter Single Sign-On and the License service, which can be shared across several vCenter Server instances.

About this task

You can install many Platform Services Controllers and join them to the same vCenter Single Sign-On domain. Concurrent installations of Platform Services Controllers are not supported. You must install the Platform Services Controllers in a sequence.


If you want to replace the VMCA-signed certificate with a CA-signed certificate, install the Platform Services Controller first, and then include VMCA in the certificate chain and generate new certificates from VMCA that are signed by the whole chain. You can then install vCenter Server. For information about managing vCenter Server certificates, see the vSphere Security documentation.


  • Verify that your system meets the minimum software and hardware requirements.

  • Download the vCenter Server installer.

  • If you want to join the new Platform Services Controller installation to an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain, verify that all Platform Services Controller instances within the domain are of the same update or patch 6.0 version as the Platform Services Controller instance that you are installing. For information about upgrading, updating, and patching a Platform Services Controller Windows installation or appliance, see the vSphere Upgrade documentation.


  1. In the software installer directory, double-click the autorun.exe file to start the installer.
  2. Select vCenter Server for Windows and click Install.
  3. Follow the prompts of the installation wizard to review the welcome page and accept the license agreement.
  4. Select Platform Services Controller and click Next.
  5. Enter the system name, preferably an FQDN, and click Next.

    You can also enter an IP address. If you enter an IP address, provide a static IP address.


    When you provide an FQDN or an IP address as the system name of the Platform Services Controller, make sure that the FQDN or IP address does not change. If the FQDN or IP address of the host machine changes, you have to reinstall the Platform Services Controller and the vCenter Server instances registered with it. The FQDN or IP address of the Platform Services Controller is used to generate an SSL certificate for the Platform Services Controller host machine.

  6. Create a new vCenter Single Sign-On domain or join an existing domain.



    Create a new Single Sign-On domain

    Creates a new vCenter Single Sign-On server.

    1. Enter the domain name, for example vsphere.local.

    2. Set the password for the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator account.

      This is the password for the user administrator@your_domain_name, where your_domain_name is a new domain that is created by vCenter Single Sign-On. After installation, you can log in to vCenter Single Sign-On and to vCenter Server as adminstrator@your_domain_name.

    3. Enter the site name for vCenter Single Sign-On.

      The site name is important if you are using vCenter Single Sign-On in multiple locations. Choose your own name for the vCenter Single Sign-On site. You cannot change the name after installation.

      The supported characters are alphanumeric characters and dash (-).

    Join a Single Sign-On domain in an existing Platform Services Controller

    Joins a new vCenter Single Sign-On server to a vCenter Single Sign-On domain in an existing Platform Services Controller. You must provide the information about the vCenter Single Sign-On server to which you join the new vCenter Single Sign-On server.

    1. Type the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or IP address of the Platform Services Controller that contains the vCenter Single Sign-On server to join.

    2. Type the HTTPS port to use for communication with the Platform Services Controller.

    3. Type the password of the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator account.

    4. Click Next.

    5. Approve the certificate provided by the remote machine.

    6. Select whether to create or join an existing vCenter Single Sign-On site.

    When you select to join an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain, you enable the Enhanced Linked Mode feature. Your Platform Services Controller will replicate infrastructure data with the joined vCenter Single Sign-On server.

  7. Click Next.
  8. For each component, accept the default port numbers, or if another service is using the defaults, enter alternative ports, and click Next.

    Make sure that ports 80 and 443 are free and dedicated, so that vCenter Single Sign-On can use these ports. Otherwise, use custom ports during installation.

  9. (Optional) Change the default destination folders and click Next.

    Do not use folders that end with an exclamation mark (!).

  10. Review the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) page and choose if you want to join the program.

    For information about the CEIP, see the Configuring Customer Experience Improvement Program section in vCenter Server and Host Management.

  11. Review the summary of the installation settings and click Install.
  12. After the installation completes, click Finish.


The Platform Services Controller is installed.

What to do next

Install vCenter Server on another Windows virtual machine or physical server and register vCenter Server and the vCenter Server components to the Platform Services Controller.