Now that we’ve got our vCenter server setup and running it’s time to finish up it’s basic configuration and get our ESXi servers added to it.
The first thing we’re going to need to do is create a datacenter. Follow these steps:
- Right click on the vCenter server in the upper left part of the screen.
- Select “New Datacenter”, assign it a name.
Now we’ll add the Hosts to the newly created Data Center.
- Right click on the Datacenter you just created and select “Add Host…”.
- Enter the Hosts’s Name, the username (root) and the password configured during the ESXi Host’s orgininal setup process. Click “Next >”.
- Click “Yes” when the Security Alert appears.
- Click “Next >” to confirm the summary .
- Assign a license to the Host, or choose evaluation, and then click “Next >”.
- Check “Enable Lockdown Mode” if you want it enabled, Click “Next >”.
- Select the location for your VMs, if there are any. Click “Next >”.
- Click “Finish”.
Repeat this for each of your Hosts, and when you’ve added them all we can move on to creating a HA / DRS cluster.
- Right click on the Datacenter you just created. Select “New Cluster…”.
- Give your new cluster a name, and then select if you want to enable HA or DRS or both. For the purposes of this write up, we’ll be enabling both. Click “Next >”.
- The first section asks to configure your DRS automation level. I configure this as “Fully automated” and with Priority 1,2,3, & 4 recommendations being performed. Click “Next >”.
- The next section asks how to configure Power Management automation. I configure this to be automatic, and leave the DPM Threshold at the default. Click “Next >”.
- The next section asks about how to configure HA. I leave these at the default settings. Make changes if you wish and then click “Next >”.
- The next section asks about how to handle VMs that stop responding and Hosts that stop responding. I leave these settings at their defaults. Make changes if you wish and then click “Next >”.
- The next section asks about monitoring the guest VMs. Enable VM Monitoring if you want, and then set your sensitivity level. Click “Next >”.
- The next section asks about EVC, if you are running hosts with different versions of processors, then you should enable this, if all of your hosts are identical, you can leave this disabled. Click “Next >”.
- The next section asks about the VM Swap file location. Unless you have a specific reason to do so I would not modify this. I leave it at the default unless I’ve got a raid 0 volume setup somewhere. Click “Next >”.
- Click “Finish” to create you cluster.
Now we need to add our hosts to the newly created cluster. Drag your first host into the cluster and when you drop it you’ll be put into the “Add Host Wizard” Follow these steps to add the host to the cluster:
- The first section will ask you where you want to place the host’s VMs if there are any, if you’ve configured resource pools you and select one, otherwise leave this at the default setting and click “Next >”.
- Click “Finish”.
The last thing we need to do for our hosts is configure their Power Management settings. I’m using Dell servers, so I’m going to configure the Power Managment settings with the IP address, Mac address, and Username/password of the build in iDRAC on each server. Follow these steps:
- From the Hosts and Clusters Inventory,Click on the first host, and then click on the “Configuration” tab.
- Under the “Software” section click “Power Management”.
- Click “Properties…” in the top right corner of the screen.
- Enter the Username, Password, IP address, and MAC address of the host’s iDRAC interface. Click “OK”.
- If Power Management is configured on your cluster, the cluster can now put this host to sleep and wake it up when it’s needed.
Finally, the last thing we need to do to finish basic configuration is configure email alerts on the vCenter server. Follow these steps:
- Go to the “Home” screen in the vCenter client.
- Click on “vCenter Server Settings”.
- Click “Mail” in the left hand pane.
- Enter your SMTP server’s address, and enter a sender account for vCenter server. Click “OK”.
That’s it. We’re done with the basic configuration of vCenter server, our hosts, and our first cluster. We’ll move onto more advanced topics in future posts, such as Resource Pools, Cloning, Creating Templates, and Backing up VMs.