VMware vSphere 6 is one of the most popular virtualization platforms capable of supporting multiple virtual machines simultaneously from several physical hosts. vSphere 6 is an outdated version of the vSphere product suite, with the latest versions of the 6.0.0 line being vSphere 6.5 and 6.7.
The latest version of vSphere is vSphere 7, with vSphere 8 fast approaching.
In a recent VMware update, vSphere 6 is approaching its end-of-cycle phase. This means that VMware will no longer support the development of vSphere 6.0, 6.5, and 6.7. In addition, VMware will not perform maintenance updates such as bug fixes for ESXi hosts. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot install and configure vSphere 6.
Installing the vSphere environment can be tricky since you will need to install ESXi and vCenter Server, and deploy the vCenter Server Appliances.
The purpose of this guide is to walk you through the installation and configuration process of VMware vSphere 6. As such, we will provide the necessary steps on how to install this virtualization platform. With that said, let’s start.
Steps to Install and Configure vSphere 6.0
We mentioned that vSphere is a product suite. As such, the product suite includes essential software, such as VMware vCenter Server 6.0 and VMware ESXi 6.0. For the purpose of this guide, we focus on installing and configuring vSphere 6, with the additional VMware tools for virtualization.
Before we begin, allow us to summarize the vSphere 6 installation and setup workflow.
- Step 1: Initiate the vSphere 6 setup and installation;
- Step 1.2: Install ESXi host;
- Step 1.3: Set up ESXi host;
- Step 2: Deploy vCenter;
- Step 3: Deploy Center Server Appliance;
So, let’s start.
Step 1.2: Install ESXi 6 Host
- Mount the ESXi 6.0 CD image on your host computer;
- Connect the DCUI console on your host computer;
- Turn on the host computer and allow it to boot from the ISO;
- Let the boot process begin and wait for the “Welcome to VMware ESXi 6.0.0” message. Then, click “Enter;”
- Press F11 to accept the EULA;
- In the boot storage screen, select the storage device and continue by pressing “Enter;”
- On the next screen, you will need to select the keyboard layout. Again, press “Enter” to continue;
- Enter a root password, press “Enter” and F11 to confirm the installation;
- You will need to reboot the ESXi host. Wait for the “Installation Complete” screen before doing so.
Step 1.3: Set up ESXi Host (Configure)
- Connect the DCUI console of the host computer;
- In the following screen, press F2 and enter the root credentials. Then, click “Enter” to log in;
- In the next screen, select “Configure Management Network;”
- Select the Management vSphere Standard Switch by selecting “Network Adapters;”
- Configure the following – VLAN, IPv4, IPv6, and DNS;
- Press “Escape” to finish the configuration. You might need to restart your host for the changes to take effect.
Step 2: Deploy vCenter Server
- Initiate the vCenter Server deployment process by mounting the ISO image;
- From the VMware vCenter installer screen, select “vCetner Server for Windows. Then, click “Install;”
- Accept the license agreement and move to the following screen;
- On the “Select Deployment Type,” tick the “Embedded Deployment” option;
- Verify the FQDN and click “Next;”
- On the vCenter Sign Sign-On Configuration, enter the domain name, username, password, and site name to continue;
- Enter the vCenter Server Service Account name and password and click “Next;”
- On the “Database Settings” screen, select the “Use an External Database” server and add the DNS server name;
- Press “Next” until you get the “Setup Complet” screen.
Step 3: Deploy vCenter Server Appliance
- Mount the vCenter Server ISO image and open the “vcsa” folder. There, you will find the Server Appliance plug-in. Right-click on “vcsa-setup.html” to install it;
- Click “Install;”
- Accept the license agreement and move to the following step;
- On the “Connect to target server” screen, add a username and password on the host. Click “Next;”
- Add the appliance name and OS password you wish to assign;
- On the following screen, select the “Install vCenter Server with an Embedded Platform Services Controller;
- Next, create a new SSO domain, enter an vCenter SSO administrator password, domain name, and SSO site name (city);
- Select appliance size. Choose between the host size options;
- On the “Select Datastore” page, select the datastore you wish to deploy the appliances on;
- Select the datastore option. The first option, “vPostigres” is the recommended option but you can also use the “Oracle” datastore;
- Configure network settings and review;
- Click “Finish.”
These three steps cover the installation and configuration guide for vSphere 6 on Windows Server. With that out the way, you can now create new virtual machines on your guest operating system. vSphere 6 might be approaching its end-of-life cycle, but you can still set up ESXi hosts and power new virtual machines.