In the vSphere Client, you can add hosts under a data center object, a folder object, or a cluster object. If a host contains virtual machines, those virtual machines are also added to the inventory.


  • Verify that a data center or a folder exists in the inventory.
  • Obtain the user name and password of the root user account for the host.
  • Verify that hosts behind a firewall are able to communicate with the vCenter Server system and all other hosts through port 902 or another custom-configured port.
  • Verify that all NFS mounts on the host are active.
  • Verify that you have the proper privileges. Different sets of privileges apply when you add multiple hosts to a cluster and a single host to a cluster or a data center. For more information, see Required Privileges for Common Tasks in the vSphere Security documentation.
  • If you want to add a host with more than 512 LUNs and 2,048 paths to the vCenter Server inventory, verify that the vCenter Server instance is suitable for a large or an x-large environment.


  1. In the vSphere Client, navigate to a data center or folder within a data center.
  2. Right-click the data center or folder and select Add Host.
  3. On the Name and location page, enter the IP address or the name of the host and click Next.
  4. On the Connection settings page, enter administrator credentials and click Next.
  5. On the Host summary page, review the summary of the host details and click Next.
  6. On the Host lifecycle page, the check box Manage host with an image check is selected by default.
    • If you want to manage the host with an image, leave the check box selected and click Next.

      For more information about using an image to manage the lifecycle of a standalone ESXi host that is part of your vCenter Server inventory, see Managing Standalone ESXi Hosts with vSphere Lifecycle Manager Images in the Managing Host and Cluster Lifecycle documentation.

    • If you do not want to manage the host with an image, deselect the check box and click Next.
  7. If you manage the host with an image, on the Image page, set up the desired image and click Next.
    1. Select an ESXi version.
    2. (Optional) Select a vendor add-on and the version of the add-on.
  8. On the Assign license page, add a license to the host.
    • Assign an already existing license and click Next.
    • Assign a new license.
      1. Click Create New Licenses. The Add Host wizard minimizes in Work in Progress and the New Licenses wizard appears.
      2. Enter or copy and paste the new license key from My VMware and click Next.
      3. Enter a new name for the license and click Next.
      4. Review the new license and click Finish.
      5. On the Assign license page, click Next.
  9. (Optional) Select a lockdown mode option to deactivate the remote access for the administrator account after vCenter Server takes control of this host and click Next.
  10. (Optional) On the VM location page, select a location for the virtual machines that reside on the host and click Next.
  11. Review the summary and click Finish.


A new task for adding the host appears in the Recent Tasks pane. It might take a few minutes for the task to complete.