vSphere is a sophisticated product with multiple components to install and set up. To ensure a successful vSphere deployment, understand the sequence of tasks required.

Installing vSphere includes the following tasks:

  1. Read the vSphere release notes.

  2. Verify that your system meets vSphere hardware and software requirements. See System Requirements.

  3. Install ESXi.

    1. Verify that your system meets the minimum hardware requirements. See ESXi Requirements.

    2. Determine the ESXi installation option to use. See Options for Installing ESXi.

    3. Determine where you want to locate and boot the ESXi installer. See Media Options for Booting the ESXi Installer. If you are PXE-booting the installer, verify that your network PXE infrastructure is properly set up. See PXE Booting the ESXi Installer.

    4. Create a worksheet with the information you will need when you install ESXi. See Required Information for ESXi Installation.

    5. Install ESXi.

      Important:

      In vSphere 6.0, Auto Deploy is installed together with vCenter Server. To provision ESXi hosts by using Auto Deploy, you must install vCenter Server or deploy the vCenter Server Appliance.

  4. Configure ESXi boot and network settings, the direct console, and other settings. See Setting Up ESXi and After You Install and Set Up ESXi.

  5. Consider setting up a syslog server for remote logging, to ensure sufficient disk storage for log files. Setting up logging on a remote host is especially important for hosts with limited local storage. See Required Free Space for System Logging and Configure Syslog on ESXi Hosts.

  6. Install vCenter Server on a Windows virtual machine or physical server or deploy the vCenter Server Appliance.

    In vSphere 6.0, you can install vCenter Server or deploy the vCenter Server Appliance, and connect them in Enhanced Linked Mode configuration by registering the vCenter Server instance and the vCenter Server Appliance to Platform Services Controllers that replicate their infrastructure data.

    Concurrent installations are not supported. After you install or deploy a Platform Services Controller, you must install vCenter Server instances or deploy vCenter Server Appliance sequentially.

    • Install vCenter Server on a Windows virtual machine or physical server.

      1. Verify that your system meets the hardware and software requirements for installing vCenter Server. See vCenter Server for Windows Requirements.

      2. (Optional) Set up an external vCenter Server database. See Preparing vCenter Server Databases for Install.

        For an environment with up to 20 hosts and 200 virtual machines, you can use the bundled PostgreSQL database. For production and large scale environments, set up an external database, because the migration from the embedded PostgreSQL database to an external database is not a trivial manual process.

      3. Create a worksheet with the information you need for installation. See Required Information for Installing vCenter Server.

      4. Install vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller. See Installing vCenter Server on a Windows Virtual Machine or Physical Server.

        You can install vCenter Server with an embedded or with an external Platform Services Controller.

        vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller deployment is suitable for small-scale environments. vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller deployment is suitable for environments with several vCenter Server instances. See vCenter Server Deployment Models .

    • Deploy the vCenter Server Appliance.

      1. Review the topics in vCenter Server Appliance Requirements and verify that your system meets the hardware and software requirements for deploying the vCenter Server Appliance.

      2. (Optional) Set up an external Oracle database. The vCenter Server Appliance supports only Oracle database as an external database. See Preparing vCenter Server Databases for Install.

        You can also use the bundled PostgreSQL database, which is suitable for environments that contain up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines.

      3. Use the topic Required Information for Deploying the vCenter Server Appliance to create a worksheet with the information you need for installation.

      4. Deploy the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller or with an external Platform Services Controller. See Deploying the vCenter Server Appliance.

        vCenter Server with an embedded Platform Services Controller deployment is suitable for small-scale environments. vCenter Server with an external Platform Services Controller deployment is suitable for environments with several vCenter Server instances. See vCenter Server Deployment Models .

  7. Connect to vCenter Server from the vSphere Web Client. See After You Install vCenter Server or Deploy the vCenter Server Appliance.

  8. Configure vCenter Server and the vCenter Server Appliance. See vCenter Server and Host Management and vCenter Server Appliance Configuration.