How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 -Part2

In this article, I’m going to show you how to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server. This guide is the continuity of my previous article which was about creating a Domain Controller for vSphere Infrastructure. If you didn’t check that guide, you can check down below. The guide below is very important and if you don’t know the first part and you can’t do this part because every part is connected. So check part 1 of building vSphere infrastructure domain controller.

Please read the Tips and Note carefully because there I mentioned very important information.

ESXi & vCenter Server Architectures

ESXi & vCenter Server Architectures

Related: How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 Part1

In this guide, I’m going to cover the following objectives.

  1. Create Windows Server 2008 R2 VM
  2. Install VMware Tools
  3. Windows Server 2008 R2 Initial Configuration
  4. Join vCenter Server to Domain
  5. Create a User Account (VCAdmin)
  6. Install vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO)
  7. Install Inventory Service
  8. Install vCenter Server
  9. Install vSphere Client

Requirements

Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

I’m not going to go in so detail about creating Virtual Machine, Installing VMware Tools, Windows Server 2008 R2 Initial Configuration because I’ve covered those in Part 1 of this infrastructure. Just check part 1 that linked earlier in this guide. However, I’ll mention every objective very briefly in this post so please follow the guide exactly. If you miss any steps, then it might not work.

#1. Create Windows Server 2008 R2 VC VM

Step #1. For our vCenter Server, we going to use the same Windows Server 2008 R2 so create a New Virtual Machine and name it VC.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Name the Virtual Machine VC

Step #2. This time give it a bit more Disk Space like 60GB.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Specify 60GB Disk Space

Step #3. Navigate to VMware Virtual Machine Settings and select around 6GB Memory, 4 Processors, tick mark Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI. Finally, Browse ISO file of Windows Server into your DVD Drive.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Enable Virtualization Technology

Step #4. For VC virtual machine, your final settings should look something like snapshot down below. Install Windows Server and follow the next step of this guide.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Power on the Virtual Machine

#2. Install VMware Tools on Windows Server 2008 R2

Once you’ve successfully installed Windows Server, it’s highly recommended to install VMware tools because it’ll fix the screen resolution and as well as speed up your virtual machine. So do it navigate to VM tab>Install VMware Tools then run the setup and click Next for a couple of times. Finally, Restart your VM then it should be fine. For more details, again have a look to our previous guide which is linked at the beginning of this article.

Building vSphere Infrastructure Domain Controller –DC VM

VMware Tools Setup

#3. Windows Server 2008 R2 Initial Configuration

This part is a really important step that you should do it to have a clean process. You’ve to prepare the following objectives.

  • Activate Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Change the time zone
  • Change computer name + add DNS Suffix
  • Changing the default administrator account
  • Windows update
  • Installing “.Net framework 3.5.1”
  • Disabling IE ESC
  • Disabling Shutdown Event Tracker
  • Add static IP address

Tip: Once the initial configuration part is done then you need to change your Network Adapter to VMnet2 same as your DC

Building vSphere Infrastructure Domain Controller –DC VM

Change the Network Adapter

and because we didn’t install DHCP to provide automatic IP address so for every virtual machine that we create, we should set a static IP address. For vCenter (VC) server use the IP 10.0.0.2. with Subnet Mask of 255.255.255.0. We used 10.0.0.1 for our DC.
If you don’t know how to perform the mentioned topics, then follow our previous guide. I’m not going to cover here because this post will be so long and I don’t want to do it. Everything is the same because it is also Windows Server 2008 R2. If you stuck at any step or didn’t work just let me know in the comment section below.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Set Static IP Address on VC VM

#4. Join vCenter Server to Domain

Once you’ve performed task 1 to 3 then it’s time to join our VC virtual machine to the domain controller (DC). To join VC to the domain, you should have done the following tasks.

  • Chosen VMnet2 in VC VM
  • Used Static IP Address 10.0.0.2

If you’ve done the above task, then you can join the vCenter virtual machine to the domain controller. Now, open Run and type sysdm.cpl and press Enter. Click Change button and select Domain. Type your domain name “wikigain.com”. You should see a window that asks for a username and password. Type your Domain Controller username and Password. In my case, my username for DC is Admin and my password is Wiki123!

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Join VC VM to Domain

Once you’ve joined your VC, you should Restart your virtual machine to get an effect.

Tip: If you get any error in this step, you need to check your prefered DNS server on your DC. Make sure it’s configured correctly. If still, you have the problem with joining VC to DC then check the firewall on both VMs. Turn Off the firewall and try again. If still you couldn’t join let me know in the comment section and send me your error.

#5. Create a User Account (VCAdmin)

In this step, I’m going to create a user account in my Domain Controller so you have to do the same.

Step #1. On your DC, navigate to Start Menu>Administrative Tools>Active Directory Users and Computers. Create VCAdmin Account.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Create VCAdmin Account

Step #2. Also, select Password Never Expires.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Choose Password Never Expire

Step #3. Once the user is created, get back to your VC virtual machine and open up Run then type lusrmgr.msc and press Enter. Now, you should see local users and groups window. Select Groups and Right Click on Administrators>Properties. Click Add button and type VCAdmin and enter.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Add VCAdmin user to Local Administrator

Step #4. If you asked for the username and password, enter your DC username and password.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Select Administrator Groups

Step #5. Finally, should see something like the screenshot below. Click OK.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Administrators Group

Step #6. Logoff your VM then Login with VCAdmin account on your VC VM.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Login as VCAdmin Account

#6. Install vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO)

Now that you’ve done everything correctly so far then follow the next steps to install vSphere vCenter 5.1 on this VC VM.

Step #1. Go to VM Settings> CD/DVD then select VMware vSphere vCenter 5.1 ISO image.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Browse VMware vSphere

Step #2. Wait for a few second that VMware vSphere setup.exe pops up. Please be patient because this installation needs sometimes to get completed. From VMware Product category select VMware vCenter Simple Install. Click Install button to get started.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

VMware vCenter Simple Install

Step #3. On the “Welcome to the install shield wizard for vCenter Single Sign-On” click Next. Make sure that every time type a password, write it down somewhere that you might need them in the future. Just click Next and Next. Every step is clearly marked in the screenshot down below.

Note: Use complex password (eg. Az!@#$%^&) for database and admin accounts.

 

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Set Database User Information

 

The SQL server instance will be installed and the SSO database will be created along with installing the program.

Tip: Be patient if the installer hangs at this step as it’s still working. If you get an error try to install every session separately. For instance, first, install vCenterTM Single Sign-On then VMware vCenter Inventory Service and finally install vCenter Serve plus vSphere Client.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Ready To Install

#7. Install Inventory Service

If you didn’t get any error in part 6 “Install vCenter Single Sign-On” then every upcoming section should appear automatically otherwise, you should install them individually. Anyway, install Inventory Service now. The Installation is pretty straightforward and you need to click Next. Wherever it asks to enter the password, use a complex password and put other settings to default.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

vCenter Single Sign-On Information

Also, don’t forget to Install Certificates in the final step.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Certificate Installation for Secure Connection

#8. Install vCenter Server

Step #1. This is the second last step, to sum up, this guide. Now, you should install the vCenter Server. When you installed Inventory Service then vCenter Service should automatically appear on the screen. If it didn’t, just use the VMware vSphere Product window to install it manually. If you’ve bought the VMware vSphere then you should have a product key otherwise, use the evaluation version which allows you to use it for a couple of months.

 

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Install vCenter Server

 

Step #2. Follow the screenshots below to get a clear idea that what to choose in every window.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

vCenter Server JVM Memory

Step #3. Don’t forget to tick “This administrator is a user group” box.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Ready To Install vCenter Server

#9. Install vSphere Client

This is the final step and I hope you’re following everything correctly. If you missed something or something is not working properly, don’t hesitate and share in the comment section down below and we’ll answer ASAP. Anyway, the last step you should install vSphere Client.

Step #1. If vSphere Client Window automatically popped up then install it otherwise, open VMware vSphere Installer then selects VMware vSphere Client from the product list. Click Next for a couple of times and put everything to default.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Install vSphere Client

Step #2. Once VMware vSphere Client is installed on your VC VM then you should see vCenter Client’s shortcut on your Desktop. Double click on it then select VC VM IP address. Finally, tickUse Windows session credentials” and press Login. If security warning pops up, just install the Certificates and you’re Done.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

Install SSL Certification

If you’ve done everything correctly so far then you should be able to see the screenshot below after you Login to your vSphere Client.

How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 vCenter Server

VMware vSphere vCenter Server

Conclusion

In this post, I’ve covered building vSphere Infrastructure vCenter Server part 2 which has the following objectives.

  • Create Windows Server 2008 R2 VM
  • Install VMware Tools
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Initial Configuration
  • Join vCenter Server to Domain
  • Create a User Account (VCAdmin)
  • Install vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Install Inventory Service
  • Install vCenter Server
  • Install vSphere Client

I hope you guys have learned something useful from this guide and if you get any kind of error or problem just share with us and if we knew the solution then absolutely, we are going to answer the comment as soon as possible.

Next Guide: How to Build vSphere Infrastructure on Windows Server 2008 R2 (ESXi Host) -Part3

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