When you prepare your JSON configuration files for CLI deployment, you must set parameters and values to provide input data for the deployment of a vCenter Server Appliance or Platform Services Controller appliance.

Sections and Subsections of Configuration Parameters in the JSON Deployment Files

The configuration parameters in the JSON configuration files for CLI upgrade are organized in sections and subsections.

Table 1. Sections and Subsections of Configuration Parameters in the JSON Deployment Files
Section Subsection Description
new.vcsa - describes the appliance that you want to deploy esxi

Use only if you want to deploy the appliance directly on an ESXi host.

Contains the configuration parameters that describe the target ESXi host. See Table 2.
Note: You must fill in either the esxi or the vc subsection.
vc

Use only if you want to deploy the appliance on the inventory of a vCenter Server instance.

Contains the configuration parameters that describe the target ESXi host or DRS cluster from the vCenter Server inventory. See Table 3.

Note: You must fill in either the vc or the esxi subsection.
appliance Contains the configuration parameters that describe the appliance. See Table 4.
network Contains the configuration parameters that describe the network settings for the appliance. See Table 5.
os Contains the configuration parameters that describe the operating system settings for the appliance. See Table 6.
sso Contains the configuration parameters that describe the vCenter Single Sign-On settings for the appliance. See Table 7.
ovftool.arguments Optional subsection for adding arbitrary arguments and their values to the OVF Tool command that the installer generates.
Important: The vCenter Server Appliance installer does not validate the configuration parameters in the ovftool.arguments subsection. If you set arguments that the OVF Tool does not recognize, the deployment might fail.
ceip - describes joining the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) settings

Contains only the ceip.enabled configuration parameter to join or not to join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). See Table 8.

Required only if you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller or a Platform Services Controller appliance.

Note: If set to true, you must run the CLI deployment command with the --acknowledge-ceip argument.

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

Important:

The string values, including the passwords, must contain only ASCII characters. Extended ASCII and non-ASCII characters are unsupported.

To set a value that contains a backslash (\) or quotation mark (") character, you must precede the character with the backslash (\) character. For example, "password":"my\"password" sets the password my"password, "image":"G:\\vcsa\\VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.5.0.XXXX-YYYYYYY_OVF10.ova" sets the path G:\vcsa\VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.5.0.XXXX-YYYYYYY_OVF10.ova.

The Boolean values must contain only lowercase characters. Can be either true or false. For example, "ssh.enable":false.

Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section

Table 2. Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section, esxi Subsection
Name Type Description
hostname string The IP address or FQDN of the target ESXi host on which you want to deploy the appliance.
username string A user name with administrative privileges on the target ESXi host, for example, root.
password string The password of the user with administrative privileges on the target ESXi host.
deployment.network string

The name of the network to which to connect the appliance.

Note: The network must be accessible from the target ESXi host.

Ignored if the target ESXi host has only one network.

datastore string

The name of the datastore that you want to store all virtual machine configuration files and virtual disks of the appliance.

Note:

The datastore must be accessible from the ESXi host.

The datastore must have enough free space.

port integer

The HTTPS reverse proxy port of the target ESXi host.

The default port is 443. Use only if the target ESXi host uses a custom HTTPS reverse proxy port.

Table 3. Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section, vc Subsection
Name Type Description
hostname string The IP address or FQDN of the target vCenter Server instance on which you want to deploy the appliance.
username string vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user name on the target vCenter Server instance, for example, administrator@vsphere.local.
password string The password of the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user on the target vCenter Server instance.
deployment.network string

The name of the network to which to connect the appliance.

Note: The network must be accessible from the target ESXi host or DRS cluster on which you want to deploy the appliance.

Ignored if the target ESXi host or DRS cluster has only one network.

datacenter string or array

The vCenter Server datacenter that contains the target ESXi host or DRS cluster on which you want to deploy the appliance.

If the datacenter is located in a folder or a structure of folders, the value must be either a comma-separated list of strings or a comma-separated list as a single string. For example,
["parent_folder", "child_folder", "datacenter_name"]
or
"parent_folder, child_folder, datacenter_name"
Note: The value is case-sensitive.
datastore string

The name of the datastore that you want to store all virtual machine configuration files and virtual disks of the appliance.

Note:

The datastore must be accessible from the target ESXi host or DRS cluster.

The datastore must have at least 15 GB of free space.

port integer

The HTTPS reverse proxy port of the target vCenter Server instance.

The default port is 443. Use only if the target vCenter Server instance uses a custom HTTPS reverse proxy port.

target string or array

The target ESXi host or DRS cluster on which you want to deploy the appliance.

Important: You must provide the name that is displayed in the vCenter Server inventory. For example, if the name of the target ESXi host is an IP address in the vCenter Server inventory, you cannot provide an FQDN.
If the target ESXi host or DRS cluster is located in a folder or a structure of folders, the value must be a comma-separated list of strings or a comma-separated list as a single string. For example,
["parent_folder", "child_folder", "esxi-host.domain.com"]
or
"parent_folder, child_folder, esxi-host.domain.com"
If the target ESXi host is part of a cluster, use a comma-separated list of strings or a comma-separated list as a single string to provide the path. For example,
["cluster_name", "esxi-host.domain.com"] 
				  
or
"cluster_name, esxi-host.domain.com"
Note: The value is case-sensitive.
vm.folder string Optional. The name of the VM folder to which to add the appliance.
Table 4. Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section, appliance Subsection
Name Type Description
thin.disk.mode Boolean Set to true to deploy the appliance with thin virtual disks.
deployment.option string The size of the appliance.
  • Set to tiny if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 10 hosts and 100 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 10 GB of memory, and 250 GB of storage.

  • Set to tiny-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 10 hosts and 100 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 10 GB of memory, and 775 GB of storage.

  • Set to tiny-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 10 hosts and 100 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 10 GB of memory, and 1650 GB of storage.

  • Set to small if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 100 hosts and 1,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs, 16 GB of memory, and 290 GB of storage.

  • Set to small-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 100 hosts and 1,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs, 16 GB of memory, and 820 GB of storage.

  • Set to small-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 100 hosts and 1,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs, 16 GB of memory, and 1700 GB of storage.

  • Set to medium if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 400 hosts and 4,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs, 24 GB of memory, and 425 GB of storage.

  • Set to medium-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 400 hosts and 4,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs, 24 GB of memory, and 925 GB of storage.

  • Set to medium-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 400 hosts and 4,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs, 24 GB of memory, and 1805 GB of storage.

  • Set to large if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs, 32 GB of memory, and 640 GB of storage.

  • Set to large-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs, 32 GB of memory, and 990 GB of storage.

  • Set to large-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs, 32 GB of memory, and 1870 GB of storage.

  • Set to xlarge if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 24 CPUs, 48 GB of memory, and 980 GB of storage.

  • Set to xlarge-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 24 CPUs, 48 GB of memory, and 1030 GB of storage.

  • Set to xlarge-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller for up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 24 CPUs, 48 GB of memory, and 1910 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-tiny if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 10 hosts and 100 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 10 GB of memory, and 250 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-tiny-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 10 hosts and 100 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 10 GB of memory, and 775 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-tiny-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 10 hosts and 100 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 10 GB of memory, and 1650 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-small if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 100 hosts and 1,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs, 16 GB of memory, and 290 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-small-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 100 hosts and 1,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs, 16 GB of memory, and 820 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-small-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 100 hosts and 1,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 4 CPUs, 16 GB of memory, and 1700 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-medium if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 400 hosts and 4,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs, 24 GB of memory, and 425 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-medium-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 400 hosts and 4,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs, 24 GB of memory, and 925 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-medium-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 400 hosts and 4,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 8 CPUs, 24 GB of memory, and 1805 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-large if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs, 32 GB of memory, and 640 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-large-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs, 32 GB of memory, and 990 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-large-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 1,000 hosts and 10,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 16 CPUs, 32 GB of memory, and 1870 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-xlarge if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with the default storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 24 CPUs, 48 GB of memory, and 980 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-xlarge-lstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with the large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 24 CPUs, 48 GB of memory, and 1030 GB of storage.

  • Set to management-xlarge-xlstorage if you want to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller for up to 2,000 hosts and 35,000 virtual machines with the x-large storage size.

    Deploys an appliance with 24 CPUs, 48 GB of memory, and 1910 GB of storage.

  • Set to infrastructureif you want to deploy a Platform Services Controller appliance.

    Deploys an appliance with 2 CPUs, 4 GB of memory, and 60 GB of storage.

image string

Optional. A local file path or URL to the vCenter Server Appliance installation package.

By default the installer uses the installation package that is included in the ISO file, in the vcsa folder.

name string

The VM name for the appliance.

Must contain only ASCII characters except a percent sign (%), backslash (\), or forward slash (/) and must be no more than 80 characters in length.

ovftool.path string

Optional. A local file path to the OVF Tool executable file.

By default the installer uses the OVF Tool instance that is included in the ISO file, in the vcsa/ovftool folder.

Table 5. Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section, network Subsection
Name Type Description
ip.family string

IP version for the network of the appliance.

Set to ipv4 or ipv6.

mode string IP assignment for the network of the appliance.

Set to static or dhcp.

ip string

IP address for the appliance.

Required only if you use static assignment, that is, if you set the mode parameter to static.

You must set an IPv4 or IPv6 address that corresponds to the network IP version, that is, to the value of the ip.family parameter.

An IPv4 address must comply with the RFC 790 guidelines.

An IPv6 address must comply with the RFC 2373 guidelines.

dns.servers string or array

IP addresses of one or more DNS servers.

To set more than one DNS server, use a comma-separated list of strings or a comma-separated list as a single string to provide the path. For example,
["x.y.z.a", "x.y.z.b"]
or
"x.y.z.a, x.y.z.b"

Required only if you use static assignment, that is, if you set the mode parameter to static.

prefix string

Network prefix length.

Use only if the mode parameter is set to static. Remove if the mode parameter is set to dhcp.

The network prefix length is the number of bits that are set in the subnet mask. For example, if the subnet mask is 255.255.255.0, there are 24 bits in the binary version of the prefix length, so the network prefix length is 24.

For IPv4 version, the value must be between 0 and 32.

For IPv6 version, the value must be between 0 and 128.

gateway string

IP address of the default gateway.

For IPv6 version, the value can be default.

ports string

(Optional) Port numbers that the vCenter Server Appliance uses for direct HTTP connections. By default, port 80 redirects requests to HTTPS port 443. You can customize the vCenter Server HTTP and HTTPS ports. If specifying a custom HTTP and HTTPS port number, ensure that you do not use a port already in use by vCenter Server, or the default HTTP and HTTPS ports of 80 and 443.

The options to specify a custom port are: "rhttpproxy.ext.port1":"port_number" for the HTTP port, and "rhttpproxy.ext.port2:"port_number" for the HTTPS port.

The following example specifies ports 81 and 444 for the HTTP and HTTPS ports:

ports: {"rhttpproxy.ext.port1":"81", "rhttpproxy.ext.port2":"444"}

For more information on ports in use by vCenter Server, see Required Ports for vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller.

Note: The ports parameter is supported starting with vSphere 6.5 Update 2.
system.name string

Primary network identity.

Can be an IP address or FQDN, preferably FQDN.

You cannot change the value of this parameter after the deployment.

The FQDN and dotted-decimal numbers must comply with the RFC 1123 guidelines.

Table 6. Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section, os Subsection
Name Type Description
password string

The password for the root user of the appliance operating system.

The password must contain between 8 and 20 characters, at least one uppercase letter, at least one lowercase letter, at least one number, and at least one special character, for example, a dollar sign ($), hash key (#), at sign (@), period (.), or exclamation mark (!). All characters must be lower ASCII characters without spaces.

ntp.servers string or array

Optional. Host names or IP addresses of one or more NTP servers for time synchronization.

To set more than one NTP server, use a comma-separated list of strings or a comma-separated list as a single string to provide the path. For example,
["x.y.z.a", "x.y.z.b"]
or
"x.y.z.a, x.y.z.b"
ssh.enable Boolean Set to true to enable SSH administrator login to the appliance.
Note: vCenter Server Appliance high availability requires remote SSH access to the appliance.
time.tools-sync Boolean

Optional. Set to true to deploy the appliance with the VMware Tools time synchronization. VMware Tools synchronizes the time of the appliance with the time of the ESxi host.

Ignored if you set NTP servers for time synchronization, that is, if you set the ntp.servers parameter.

Table 7. Configuration Parameters in the new.vcsa Section, sso Subsection
Name Type Description
password string Password of the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user, administrator@your_domain_name.
  • If you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller or a Platform Services Controller appliance as the first instance in a new vCenter Single Sign-On domain, you must set the password for the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user.

    The password must contain between 8 and 20 characters, at least one uppercase letter, at least one lowercase letter, at least one number, and at least one special character, for example, a dollar sign ($), hash key (#), at sign (@), period (.), or exclamation mark (!). All characters must be ASCII characters.

  • If you are deploying a Platform Services Controller appliance as a replication partner in an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain, you must provide the password of the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user of the partner Platform Services Controller.
  • If you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller, you must provide the password of the vCenter Single Sign-On administrator user of the external Platform Services Controller.
domain-name string vCenter Single Sign-On domain name, for example, vsphere.local.
  • If you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller or a Platform Services Controller appliance as the first instance in a new vCenter Single Sign-On domain, you must set the name for the new vCenter Single Sign-On domain.
  • If you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller or a Platform Services Controller appliance as a replication partner in an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain, you must provide the name of the existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain.
first-instance Boolean

Required only if you are deploying a Platform Services Controller appliance.

The default value is true.

Set to false if you want to join the Platform Services Controller appliance to an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

Joined Platform Services Controller instances replicate their infrastructure data and enable Enhanced Linked Mode. For information about managing the Platform Services Controller services, see Platform Services Controller Administration.

platform.services.controller string

The system name of the external Platform Services Controller.

Required only if you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an external Platform Services Controller.

replication-partner-hostname string

The system name of the partner Platform Services Controller.

Required only if you are deploying a Platform Services Controller appliance as a replication partner in an existing vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

sso.port integer

The HTTPS reverse proxy port of the partner Platform Services Controller.

The default port is 443. Use only if you the partner Platform Services Controller uses a custom HTTPS reverse proxy port.

site-name string

vCenter Single Sign-On site name.

Required only if you are deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller or a Platform Services Controller appliance.

Note: When setting up an embedded linked mode, use Default-First-Site as the site name for the first instance.

Configuration Parameters in the ceip Section

Table 8. Configuration Parameters in the ceip Section, settings Subsection
Name Type Description
ceip.enabled Boolean Set to true to join the CEIP for this appliance.