vCenter Server Appliance Greenfield deployment

Recently, I needed to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA from now on) in an environment under the following conditions:

  • ESXi host have been installed and configured.
  • ESXi hosts reside in a different VLAN then the VCSA.
  • DNS servers are not available at the time of the installation.
  • Not much time.

The first step is to deploy the VCSA. So connect the vSphere Client to an ESXi host and start the deployment. The wizard walks you through some of the details, like name, location, storage location and network mapping. If you have ever deployed the VCSA on a vCenter Server, you will notice that this crucial window is missing. So we are not able to provide information like the IP address.

20140118-01Figure 1

So after booting up the VCSA, you will be presented with this message.

20140118-02Figure 2

To provide the VCSA with the correct IP address, follow these steps:

  • Login, default account is root, password is vmware.
  • As the message in the red sections suggests, run the following command:
    # /opt/vmware/share/vami/vami_config_net
  • You will be presented a menu. At a minimum, run option 6 (IP address), 3 (Hostname) and 2 (Default Gateway). Check your effort by running option 0. If everything is OK, leave the menu with option 1.

20140118-03Figure 3

Now it is time to check connectivity to the ESXi hosts. Remember in my case, the ESXi hosts reside in another subnet.
N.B. All traffic between subnets was allowed.
In case a ping test does not work, check the routing on the VCSA with the command:

# route –n

The output should be something like the example. Important is the line starting with, representing the default gateway.

20140118-04Figure 4

In case this line is missing, add the default gateway with the following command:

# route add default gw <IP address default gateway> eth0

Now that we have solved the connectivity, we are able to manage the VCSA by browsing to it’s IP address and start the setup?

But wait! Without a proper DNS, the SSO configuration will fail with this error: “Failed to execute /usr/sbin/vpxd_servicecfg ‘sso  ‘write’ ‘embedded’ CENSORED CENSORED ‘default-pass’’: VC_CFG_RESULT=702 (error: an unexpected error occurred during the installation of the appliance sso service. Please collect a support bundle and file a service request”).

20140118-05Figure 5

The reason is that SSO depends on DNS, which is not available at this time. To resolve this, the quickest solution is to modify the /etc/hosts file.

Old hosts file (vcsa55 is the VCSA). vcsa55  localhost
::1       vcsa55  localhost   ip6- localhost  ip6-loopback

New hosts file (vcsa55 is the VCSA on, esx01 and esx02 are ESXi hosts that needs to be managed).       localhost
::1             localhost   ip6- localhost  ip6-loopback vcsa55  esx01  esx02

After saving the hosts file, we are ready for a successful setup of the VCSA. So point your web browser to #https://IP_address_of_the_VCSA:5480 and start the configuration.

Credits for this post go to Duncan Epping at Yellow Bricks for his post on the IP configuration and Paul Braren at TinkerTry for his post on the SSO errors. Detailed information can be found in these posts.

As always, I thank you for reading.

2 Responses to vCenter Server Appliance Greenfield deployment

  1. Edmund White says:

    Thanks for this. I ran into the same challenges in a new environment. Quite helpful.

  2. Nanotecky says:

    just perfect!!!
    thank you

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