Installation (vCentre)

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For vSphere v5 Installation see here

vSphere 4 Installation

For a production installation you should have a ready to use SQL database server (MS or Oracle), for small installations you can use MS SQL Express (which is installed as part of the vCentre install when no external database is specified).

This is a basic install that will get you going, see Installing ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices for more detailed info, or the Architecture Suggestions section for some hints.

SQL DSN requirements

  • VC < v4.1 - Requires a 32-bit DSN even if vCentre is being run on a 64-bit machine
  • VC v4.1 - Requires a 64-bit DSN
  • vUM - * Requires a 32-bit DSN

To install vCentre...

  1. Start the installer
  2. Accept EULA, and then click Next
  3. Enter vCentre license key (if you have one), and then click Next
  4. Setup a database to use, and then click Next
    • Use MS SQL 2005 Express option for small scale or non-production deployments only
    • Select an existing DSN (to set-up a new DSN, see Create DSN)
  5. Enter the appropriate authentication information, and then click Next
  6. Select the appropriate Linked Mode (this proc assumes Standalone), and then click Next
  7. Accept the default TCP ports (its recommended that you don't share the server with other services which, for example) might necessitate changing the vCentre ports), and then click Next
  8. Click Install

Normally you'd now install Update Manager


Upgrades are performed using the same package as used for a fresh installation. Obviously VI management will be unavailable during the upgrade and the database should be backed up prior to starting work. Its quite common for the VC to lose contact with the ESX's it manages following an upgrade. Reconnecting requires some manual effort (right-click options through the VI Client, restart the ESX management agent, nothing too involved, just time consuming if you've lots of ESX's), and may require the root user/pass for the ESX's.

  1. Start the installer
  2. The installer will detect that its an upgrade and ask for confirmation to continue, click Yes
  3. Once the wizard starts, click Next
  4. Accept EULA, and then click Next
  5. Confirm the database selection is correct, and then click Next
  6. Enter the appropriate database authentication information (if required), and then click Next
  7. You may receive warnings about any of the following (or other), this is normal, take note and proceed
    • Update Manager extension won't be supported - upgrade following vCentre upgrade
    • SQL server recovery model
    • SQL server to use TCP/IP and named pipes - config post upgrade via MS SQL Server Surface Area Config tool, Database Engines | Remote Connections
  8. Unless you really want to blank your database and lose all configs, performance logs etc, leave on the default Do not overwrite... option and click Next
  9. Unless you know otherwise, leave vCentre service account info as is and click Next
  10. Leave TCP ports as is and click Next
  11. Click Install
    • The upgrade will proceed and might take some time (5 - 15 mins)
    • Once the vCentre is upgraded its common for the vCentre agent that resides on the ESX's to also be upgraded, this occurs automatically once the ESX's reconnect after the vCentre upgrade.

Create DSN

Use this procedure to create a new SQL DSN on the server on which you are installing vCentre, if your database is Oracle rather than Microsoft then you'll need to install an Oracle db driver 1st and select that rather than the SQL Native Client in this procedure. A blank/empty database should be create on the database server prior to carrying out this procedure (see Create Database).

If you need to specifically create a 32-bit DSN. Start the ODBC admin tool from %systemdrive%\Windows\SysWoW64\Odbcad32.exe instead of the Administrative Tools menu.

  1. Go to Data Sources (ODBC) in the Administrative Tools menu in order to start the ODBC admin tool
  2. Go to the System DSN tab and click on Add...
  3. Select the SQL Native Client driver and click Finish
  4. Enter the required options described below, and then select Next...
    • Name: This is the name that you'll know the DSN by, and use in the vCentre setup, eg VC
    • Description: Optional description for DSN, eg vCentre database
    • Server: Database server hostname, eg localhost or
  5. Enter the appropriate authentication options for your database (ask your DBA if in doubt!), and then click Next
    • Use With SQL Server authentication... and enter the vpxuser credentials if you pre-created them when creating the database
  6. Check the Change the default database to option and select the appropriate database (that's been created on the database server), if required, then click Next
  7. Leave default options as is on final screen, and click Finish
  8. Click the Test Data Source... button to test connectivity to the database, then OK to finish
    • If the test fails, recheck your config, and also test connectivity to the database server (ping, telnet porttest etc)

Build Numbers

VC version Server Appliance
2.5 Update 1 84767
2.5 Update 2 104217
2.5 Update 3 119598
2.5 Update 4 147633
4.0 162902
4.0 Update 1 208156
4.1 258902
4.1 Update 1 345043
4.1 Update 2 493063
4.1 Update 3 816786
5.0 456005 472350
5.0 Update 1 639890
5.0 Update 1a 755629 757163
5.0 Update 1b 804276 804279
5.0 Update 2 913577 920217
5.1 799735
5.1a 880471 880472
5.1b 947939