Installing vCenter 5.5 What’s New?

Well , as I am really excited about our newest GA release, I thought I’d share with you the install process for vCenter 5.5. I’ve ready myself and installed MS SQL 2008R2 SP2 , and prepared the usual database, and vpxuser that I like so much.

The new installer, depicts the installation order, in a really simple manner

vCenter 5.5 Installer

We can see the new installation scheme , and the way to install everything in a pretty straight forward way. Lets move on with Single-Sign-On installation.

So in vSphere 5.5 we actually have some big changes in SSO, mainly, the fact that you do not need to install/create a database. I repeat, you are not asked to create a Database, in any part of a new single node installation. Lets go through the steps:

SSO Install

First thing, we get a nice general check that basic settings for the servers are correct. For those of you night birds installing vCenter Server 5.5 in 2:20am (like me :) ), this is quite a nice addition.

Next we face the type of SSO installation we would like to install.

1. The first represent our regular SSO install, and I say ‘regular’ intently, since I believe this does not have the restrictions of a 5.1 SSO basic install. As far as i’m aware, this should be like the “create new primary sso instance” kind of choice for the new vSphere 5.5 SSO.

2. The Second option, is the HA option , adding an SSO server to an existing SSO instance, in a single site.

3. The Third option, is the equivalent of multi-site mode, installing a new sso server, for the same instance, in a different site.

The database created here is an internal db, that does not require an external SQL or other DB.

new sso instance

Next, we will enter a new administrator password for our instance, but wait! look at the new “system-domain” it is now “vSphere.local” , with administrator, instead of the “admin” user.

SSO Site Name

Next up, we will be prompted to name our newly created site, as always, adding some reasonably logical name for this is probably a good thing to do…

Summary screenNext we’ll see a short summary screen, which is always great for complex install scenarios. The next button will simply install the SSO server, and prompt you when all is done! we’re finished with SSO.

As for webclient and Inventory service , which are next in line, i’ll elegantly skip those, as the install procedure remains exactly the same. For the web client, you can change the default port (still 9443) .

As for Inventory service , the installer still offers you to configure the JVM heap size, between:

– Small (3GB)

– Medium (6 GB)

– Large (12GB)

Lets continue with installing vCenter Server! (after installing web-client, and Inventory service of course)

For most of its parts, the vCenter installer remains the same, so for all of you who ever got to install vSphere 5.1, you’ll do fine. There are two screens i’d like to take a minute and to talk about:

The screen for choosing vCenter Service account. In previous versions, when selecting an mssql server user (vpxuser I created) you we’re only allowed to run the server with the NTAuthority\System user. This never made sense to me, and in 5.5, although I picked simple SQL authentication, I can now de-select the “Use Windows Local System Account” which was once selected and greyed out, and opt to put any user I’d like. This is great news and i’m glad it got fixed in this release.

The second screen I mentioned worth noting, is the following:

For some reason I get a lot of customers pretty confused by this page, when it’s actually really simple, the installer asks for us to select the first user to get vSphere administrator credentials. This user should be recognised by SSO (thus the default option is for the administrator@vsphere.local user). This screen appears because since 5.1, vCenter Server local administrators will not get the “vSphere Administrator” Role by default, as in previous vCenter versions.

This is all for the Installation of vCenter 5.5 . The installer completes, and login is done via administrator@vsphere.local user. Remember to assign some new vSphere administrators, and to configure SSO. More on that, next time around…

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