2020.04.7 – Building a VMware vSphere Virtual Lab with VMware Fusion – Part 3: Deploying vCenter Server Appliance

Note: I have tried to install to ESXi 6.7 minim 4 times but I had an error and I can not install. In this moment I do not know what are the difference benefits between vCerver inside Fusion > ESXi or vCenter inside Fusion but out of ESXi.

This will help me to run the VMware vCenter Server appliance on VMware Fusion so that I can test features like VSAN, VMotion and Storage VMotion on a Mac without server hardware.

For important Photos that help to understand this article, click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xs8DvrbCFyPNsofL9

Mine lab parts:

GraspingTech’s helping guid:


ESXi on its own is good for when I only have one server and a handful of VMs. But if I want to use advanced features like VMotion, Storage VMotion, vSAN and more, I’ll need to use vCenter Server to manage the hosts. The vCenter UI is a lot better than the ESXi UI and it makes managing multiple hosts much easier.

  • This is a page about installation of VMware-VCSA-all-6.7.0-14367737.iso.


I have read and followed the steps in Part 0, Part 1 and Part 2 and now I can continue with next tutorial from GraspingTech blog.

It is said that it’s important that all the previous steps are followed because deploying vCenter requires a DNS Resolver and I set that up at the end of Part 2.

Now, after completing the steps in Part 0, Part 1 and Part 2 I am at a point where I have:

  1. Installed VMware Fusion
  2. Created custom VMware Fusion networks
  3. Created fief ESXi VM with three network adapters ore more than three network adapters
  4. The first two network adapters are connected to the vSphere network and the next one is connected to the WAN network
  5. ESXi are installed and the management network configured with to as the IP addresses and as the gateway and DNS resolver.
  6. Deployed a virtual pfSense firewall to the ESXi01_01_6.x with enough GB of RAM.
  7. Configured the firewall DNS resolver so that hosts and the vCenter appliance can resolve the IP addresses of other hosts on the vSphere network.

Software required:

  • I’ve download the VMware vCenter Server Appliance from the VMware website. The steps will been test with VMware-VCSA-all-6.7.0-14836122.

Some problems

I’ve made a lot of effort to try to install VMware Center into an existing or reinstall VMware ESXi. I have a lot of problems.

–> Furs picture, Internal Error, shows my problem that made me to delete and reinstall esxi01:

  • I decided to delete full esxi_01 application and reinstall bach.
  • Include full Part 1 and Part 2.

–> Same problem after reinstall all!

  • I have changed the System name with IP Address and the installation go farther.
  • But a new problem appeared.
  • I retry ….
  • But get messenger that it is impossible to install

I have tried to install it a lot of times. After that I haven the idea to install vCenter out of ESXi. So, I will do the lab different from the wan inspire me …

VMware vCenter Step-by-step Configuration

Step 1: Deploy the vCenter OVA

Importing the vCenter virtual appliance into VMware Fusion:

  • Double click on the ISO image to mount it in Finder, open the vcsa folder and then double click on the vCenter OVA to start the installation.
  • Double clicking the OVA will launch VMware Fusion and start the import process. Click Continue to begin.
  • Read the EULA and then click Accept.

Since I’m only testing vCenter on a Mac, leave it on Tiny vCenter Server with Embedded PSC and then click Continue.

  • We only need to configure a password in the next step because we’ll be configuring the management network and other settings once the appliance is imported. Enter a root password then click Continue.
  • You will be asked to give the virtual machine a name. Type vCenter 6.7.0 then click Save.
  • Wait for the vCenter virtual machine to import then click Continue.
  • At the end click Finish to close the import wizard and boot the virtual machine.

The first boot might take a few minutes while vCenter is configured. You’ll see a screen for awhile but don’t login, just wait for the UI to load.

  • After waiting patiently, the UI should now be loaded and I’m ready to configure the management network, which I’ll do in the next step.

Step 2. Configuring the vCenter virtual appliance management network

The default network of the virtual appliance is set to bridged, as you can see from the image in the previous step showing an IP address assigned by the DHCP server of my router.

In the following steps, I’ll change the network to a private network shared with the Mac and then assign a static IP address.

  • Open the virtual machine settings, click on the network adapter and then change it to vSphere
  • Close the settings window, then click into the virtual machine, press F2 and then enter the password you assigned when importing the virtual appliance to login.
  • Select Configure Management Network then press Enter.
  • Press Enter on IP Configuration.
  • Select the Set static IP address and network configuration option by pressing Space then enter the IP addressSubnet Mask and Default Gateway. Press Enter to save the IP config.

Note: I have moved vCenter installation from Virtual Machine to Virtual Machine/VMware. But I have installed IP address before this step. Now is correctly configure the IP but it is almost impossible to modify. I will search a solution if I need.

  • Select the DNS Configuration and then press Enter. Then select Use the following DNS server addresses and hostname by pressing Space. Type in the gateway IP in the Primary DNS Server box and the IP address of the vCenter host specified in the previous step as the hostname then press Enter.

I want to use something different than IP in Firefox so I configured Custom DVD Suffixes with vc01.silvique.ro.

Step 3. Run the new vCenter Server setup

  • Open a web browser and enter the IP address of your vCenter Server with using 5480 for the port.

Note: It is impossible to use Safari web browser. I have also some problem with Google web browser. But Firefox web browser works OK. I use Firefox to open and use all projects I install into VMware Fusion.

For me that is:

  • Click the Set up option.
  • You will be asked to login to continue the setup. Enter the root password and click LOG IN.
  • Click NEXT to start Stage 2.
  • Enable SSH access and then click NEXT.
  • Wait for the settings to be saved.
  • Enter the single sign on domain name and administrator password then click NEXT.
  • Un-tick CEIP if you don’t want to share data with VMware and then click NEXT.
  • Click FINISH to apply the changes.
  • Click OK. Wait for the installation to finish.
  • Wait for the installation to finish.
  • Remove the port number from the URL to login to vCenter for the first time. Click the LAUNCH VSPHERE CLIENT (HTML) button to load the login screen.
  • Login to vCenter using the administrator@[yourdomain] and the password you specified in the previous step.

You’re now ready to use vCenter Server.

Step 4. Include a License

  • Enter to Licensing
  • Into Licenses chapter click Add New Licenses and add the license and click next.
  • Go to Assets and click Asset License

Update: I want to power-on 3 ESXis and one vCenter. On my MacBook Pro I have 16 GB RAM.

  • Each of 3 ESXi’s has set to minimum 4096 MB RAM – I will not try with smaller that this
  • The vCenter has set to 7168 MB RAM – minim recommended is should as 768 MB

After power-on all 3 ESXi’s the value of Memory accepted for vCenter to be able tu power-on defer from day to day, our to our … for example next morning I had to change and use 7136 MB RAM


After finishing this installation, I have five ESXi hosts running on VMware Fusion , three for this project, with a pfSense firewall VM and a vCenter Server Appliance.

For important Photos that help to understand this article, click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xs8DvrbCFyPNsofL9