With vSphere 6.0, there is a new deployment model for vCenter Server which is comprised of following two core components:

  • Platform Services Controller (PSC) Node - Provides VMware Infrastructure services such as vCenter Single Sign-On, vSphere Licensing and VMware Certificate Authority Management (VCMA)
  • vCenter Server Management Node - Provides vCenter Server Service, Inventory Service, vSphere Web Client, vPostgres DB, vSphere Syslog Collector, vSphere Auto Deploy, and vSphere Dump Collector Services

From these two components, there are three deployment types (also shown in the diagrams below):

  1. Embedded Node - Both the Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server Management Node reside on a single system, this is true for both the Windows vCenter Server and the VCSA
  2. External Platform Services Controller Node - You can deploy multiple PSC's and configure them with independent SSO Domains or have them all joined to a single SSO Domain, replicating between each other
  3. vCenter Server Management Node - This requires that you have deployed an external PSC which the vCenter Server can point to

vcsa-6.0-deployment-options-new-2There are currently two supported methods of deploying the VCSA 6.0 Appliance which is using the new HTML based UI (Supported only on Windows) or a new scripted installer method (supports Windows, Mac & Linux). Both of these methods today require direct access to an ESXi host for deployment, which may not work for everyone. What if you want to deploy the new VCSA 6.0 using an existing vCenter Server or running it on top of VMware Fusion or Workstation? Luckily, I spent quite a bit of time going through all these "alternative" deployment methods and documenting the process so that you have a choice on how you would like to test and evaluate vSphere 6 and the new VCSA in your environment.

These alternative methods will be using the VCSA OVA which is actually included in the VCSA ISO. You will need to extract the contents of the VCSA ISO and you can find the OVA in the following path after extraction: VMware-VCSA-all-6.0.0-2562643->vcsa->vmware-vcsa where vmware-vcsa is the VCSA OVA file. Depending on the deployment method you are using, you may only need to just extract the contents of the ISO or possibly rename the vmware-vcsa with .ova extension to deploy. Please refer to the articles below for more details.

Disclaimer: Though these alternative deployment options work, they are however not officially supported by VMware. Please use at your own risk.

In the upcoming days, I will be sharing a 4-part blog series for automating the deployment of the new VCSA 6.0 with the following deployment options:

In each article, I will provide resources on how to deploy to an existing vCenter Server or directly to an ESXi host using ovftool via a shell script as well using PowerCLI, deploying to VMware Fusion and deploying to VMware Workstation. Stay tune for Part 1 ...

8 thoughts on “Ultimate automation guide to deploying VCSA 6.0 Part 0

  1. Am I reading this correctly? There is no supported way to deploy a VCSA onto an existing vCenter?

    • Matt,

      That’s correct. Having said that, this is something Engineering is looking to enhance as the VCSA HTML deployment UI is new in vSphere 6. Partially, this is why I’ve working on this series to show how you can still deploy VCSA using ovftool and other means depending on where you would like to run the VCSA

  2. Be warned: The format that this file takes has changed between vSphere updates (e.g. 6.0 -> 6.0 update 1). If you think you are being smart by not updating your .json file to match the new expected format – think again! I kept hitting the “Error occurred while processing request. Check vSphere WebClient logs for details.” error message until I switched my template to the the 1.1 format and deployed again. From the looks of it this change started deploying PSC pieces in addition to the embedded vCenter.

    • (Apologies – the above would probably have been better attached to the Part 1 blog post because it refers to the scripted install template)

  3. Hi William,
    is there a option to reset vpostgres (VC) account in VCSA6.0 u2

    retdayvccp010:/ # /opt/vmware/vpostgres/current/bin/psql -d VCDB U postgres
    psql.bin: warning: extra command-line argument “postgres” ignored
    Password for user U:

Thanks for the comment!