After you create and configure a SQL Server database and user for vCenter Server, you must create a 64-bit DSN on the machine on which you plan to install vCenter Server. During the vCenter Server installation, you use the DSN to establish a connection between vCenter Server and the database.

If you use SQL Server for vCenter Server, do not use the master or any other system database.

See your Microsoft SQL ODBC documentation for specific instructions for configuring the SQL Server ODBC connection.

Caution: If you are using a named instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition with vCenter Server, do not name the instance MSSQLSERVER. If you do, the JDBC connection does not work, and certain features, such as Performance Charts, are not available.


Deploy SQL Native Client version 10 or 11.


  1. On the machine on which you plan to install vCenter Server, select Start > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC).
  2. On the System DSN tab, modify an existing or create a new SQL Server ODBC connection.
    • To modify an existing SQL Server ODBC connection, select the connection from the System Data Source list and click Configure.
      Important: The existing DSN must use SQL Native Client version 10 or 11.
    • To create a new SQL Server ODBC connection, click Add, select SQL Native Client, and click Finish .
  3. In the Name text box, enter an ODBC data source name (DSN).
    For example, VMware vCenter Server.
  4. (Optional) In the Description text box, enter an ODBC DSN description.
  5. In the Server text box, enter the IP address or FQDN of the SQL Server and, if you want to use a non-default port to access the SQL Server, enter a custom port separated by a comma.
    For example, if the IP address of your SQL Server is and you want to access the server by using custom port 8347, enter,8347.
    Note: You cannot use a database server alias to create a DSN.
  6. Select an authentication method.
    • Integrate Windows authentication.

      Additionally, you can also enter the Service Principal Name (SPN).

      Important: You cannot use this option if the vCenter Server service is running under the Microsoft Windows built-in system account.
    • SQL Server authentication.

      Enter your SQL Server login name and password.

  7. Select the database created for the vCenter Server system from the Change the default database to menu.
  8. Click Finish.
  9. Test the data source by selecting Test Data Source and clicking OK from the ODBC Microsoft SQL Server Setup menu.
  10. Verify that the SQL Agent is running on your database server.