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:

Figure 1. vSphere Installation and Setup Workflow

First install and setup at least one ESXi host, then deploy or install vCenter Server - embedded type for small evironments, external type for large environments.
  1. Read the vSphere release notes.
  2. Install ESXi.
    Note: See VMware ESXi Installation and Setup for detailed information about the ESXi installation process.
  3. Configure the ESXi boot and network settings, the direct console, and other settings. See VMware ESXi Installation and Setup for information.
  4. 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 VMware ESXi Installation and Setup.
  5. Install vCenter Server.

    You can deploy the vCenter Server appliance on an ESXi host or vCenter Server instance.

    You can deploy or install multiple vCenter Server instances connected in Enhanced Linked Mode configuration by registering them to a common Single Sign-On domain.

    1. Review the topics in System Requirements for the vCenter Server Appliance and verify that your system meets the hardware and software requirements for deploying the appliance.
    2. Determine the deployment method to use.

      You can use the GUI method to deploy the appliance interactively. Alternatively, you can use the CLI method to perform a silent deployment of the appliance. See GUI Deployment of the vCenter Server Appliance and CLI Deployment of the vCenter Server Appliance.

    3. Use the topic Required Information for Deploying a vCenter Server Appliance to create a worksheet with the information you need for the GUI deployment, or use the topic Prepare Your JSON Configuration File for CLI Deployment to create your JSON templates for the CLI deployment.
    4. Deploy the appliance.
  6. Connect to vCenter Server from the vSphere Client. See After You Deploy the vCenter Server Appliance.
  7. Configure the vCenter Server instance. See vCenter Server Configuration and vCenter Server and Host Management.