You can deploy the vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded or external Platform Services Controller to manage your vSphere environment. You can deploy a Platform Services Controller appliance and register external deployments and Windows installations of vCenter Server Appliance with this Platform Services Controller appliance.

You can deploy the vCenter Server Appliance or Platform Services Controller appliance on an ESXi host 5.5 or later, or on an ESXi host or DRS cluster from the inventory of a vCenter Server instance 5.5 or later.

For information about the software included in the vCenter Server Appliance 6.5, see Overview of the vCenter Server Appliance.

For information about the software and hardware requirements for deploying the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller appliance, see System Requirements for the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller Appliance.

The vCenter Server Appliance installer contains executable files for GUI and CLI deployments, which you can use alternatively.

  • The GUI deployment is a two stage process. The first stage is a deployment wizard that deploys the OVA file of the appliance on the target ESXi host or vCenter Server instance. After the OVA deployment finishes, you are redirected to the second stage of the process that sets up and starts the services of the newly deployed appliance.

  • The CLI deployment method involves running a CLI command against a JSON file that you previously prepared. The CLI installer parses the configuration parameters and their values from the JSON file and generates an OVF Tool command that automatically deploys and sets up the appliance.

Important:

For topologies with external Platform Services Controller instances, you must deploy the replicating Platform Services Controller instances in a sequence. After the successful deployment of all Platform Services Controller instances in the domain, you can perform concurrent deployments of multiple vCenter Server appliances that point to a common external Platform Services Controller instance.

The vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller appliance have the following default user names:

User Name

Description

root

Use this user name to log in to the appliance operating system and the Appliance Management Interface.

You set the password while deploying the virtual appliance.

administrator@your_domain_name

Use this user name for vCenter Single Sign-On login.

You set the password while creating the vCenter Single Sign-On domain. You create a vCenter Single Sign-On domain during the deployment of a vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded Platform Services Controller or the first Platform Services Controller instance in a new vCenter Single Sign-On domain.

After you create a vCenter Single Sign-On domain, only the administrator@your_domain_name user has the privileges required to log in to vCenter Single Sign-On and vCenter Server.

The administrator@your_domain_name user can proceed as follows:

  • Add an identity source in which additional users and groups are defined to vCenter Single Sign-On.

  • Give permissions to the users and groups.

For information about adding identity sources and giving permissions to the users and groups, see Platform Services Controller Administration.

For information about upgrading and patching the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller appliance, see vSphere Upgrade.

For information about configuring the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller appliance, see vCenter Server Appliance Configuration.

Starting with vSphere 6.5, vCenter Server supports mixed IPv4 and IPv6 environment. If you want to set up the vCenter Server Appliance to use an IPv6 address version, use the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or host name of the appliance. To set up an IPv4 address, the best practice is to use the FQDN or host name of the appliance, because the IP address can change if assigned by DHCP.