vCenter Server is deployed using a preconfigured virtual machine, which is optimized for running VMware vCenter Server® and the associated services.

During the deployment of vCenter Server, you can create a VMware vCenter® Single Sign-On™ domain or join an existing domain. For information about the vCenter Server deployment, see vCenter Server Installation and Setup.

vCenter Server is supported on VMware ESXi™ 6.0 and later. The package contains the following software:

  • Project Photon OS® 3.0
  • PostgreSQL database
  • vCenter Server 8.0 and vCenter Server 8.0 components
  • Necessary services for running vCenter Server such as vCenter Single Sign-On, License service, and VMware Certificate Authority

    For detailed information about authentication, see vSphere Authentication.

Customization of the preconfigured virtual machine is unsupported except for adding memory, CPU, and disk space.

vCenter Server has the following default user names:

  • root user with the password that you set during the deployment of the virtual appliance. You use the root user to log in to the vCenter Server Management Interface and to the preconfigured virtual machine operating system.
    Important: The password for the root account of vCenter Server expires after 365 days by default. For information about changing the root password and configuring the password expiration settings, see Change the Password and Password Expiration Settings of the Root User.
  • administrator@your_domain_name which is the vCenter Single Sign-On user with the password and domain name that you set during the deployment of the appliance.

    When you install vCenter Server, you can change the vSphere domain. Do not use the same domain name as the domain name of your Microsoft Active Directory or OpenLDAP domain name.

    Initially, only the user administrator@your_domain_name has the privileges to log in to the vCenter Server system. By default, the administrator@your_domain_name user is a member of the SystemConfiguration.Administrators group. This user can add an identity source in which additional users and groups are defined to vCenter Single Sign-On or give permissions to the users and groups. For more information, see vSphere Security.

You can configure vCenter Server settings in four ways:

  • Use the vCenter Server Management Interface.

    You can edit the system settings such as access, network, time synchronization, and the root password settings. This is the preferred way for configuring vCenter Server.

  • Use the vSphere Client.

    You can navigate to the system configuration settings of vCenter Server and join the deployment to an Active Directory domain. You can manage the services that are running in vCenter Server and modify various settings such as access, network, and firewall settings.

  • Use the Bash shell.

    You can use TTY1 to log in to the console or can use SSH and run configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting commands in vCenter Server.

  • Use the Direct Console User Interface.

    You can use TTY2 to log in to the vCenter Server Direct Console User Interface to change the password of the root user, configure the network settings, or enable access to the Bash shell or SSH.

What Happened to the Platform Services Controller

In vSphere 7.0, all Platform Services Controller services are consolidated into vCenter Server.

Beginning in vSphere 7.0, deploying or upgrading vCenter Server in vSphere 7.0 requires the use of vCenter Server Appliance, a preconfigured virtual machine optimized for running vCenter Server. The new vCenter Server contains all Platform Services Controller services, preserving the functionality and workflows, including authentication, certificate management, and licensing. It is no longer necessary nor possible to deploy and use an external Platform Services Controller. All Platform Services Controller services are consolidated into vCenter Server, and deployment and administration are simplified.

As these services are now part of vCenter Server, they are no longer described as a part of Platform Services Controller. In vSphere 7.0, the vSphere Authentication publication replaces the Platform Services Controller Administration publication. The new publication contains complete information about authentication and certificate management. For information about upgrading or migrating from vSphere 6.5 and 6.7 deployments using an existing external Platform Services Controller to vSphere 7.0 using vCenter Server Appliance, see the vSphere Upgrade documentation.