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Running vCenter Server in a virtual machine (10087)

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VMware supports running vCenter Server in a virtual machine. In virtual machines, vCenter Server behaves as if it were installed on a physical server.


You can install vCenter Server in a Microsoft Windows virtual machine that runs on an ESXi/ESX host.

Note: While running vCenter Server in a virtual machine under Workstation, Player, or Fusion is possible, VMware does not support this configuration.

Deploying vCenter Server in a virtual machine has these advantages:
  • Rather than dedicating a physical server to the vCenter Server application, you can install vCenter Server in a virtual machine registered to an ESXi/ESX host in the environment.
  • You can provide high availability for the vCenter Server system by using VMware HA.
  • You can migrate the virtual machine containing the vCenter Server system from one host to another, enabling maintenance and other activities.
  • Provides the ability to use snapshots for virtual machine-level backup utilities (such as VMware Data Recovery) and for restore points before installing update packages.
To install vCenter Server in a virtual machine:
  1. In a standalone server, install ESXi/ESX.
  2. On any machine that has network access to your ESXi/ESX host, install the vSphere Client.
  3. Using the vSphere Client, access the ESXi/ESX host directly to create the virtual machine for hosting vCenter Server.
  4. In the virtual machine, install vCenter Server.
For more information, see the ESXi/ESX and vCenter Server Setup Guide.

For more information on the advantages of deploying the vCenter Server system in a virtual machine, see the Install vCenter Server in a Virtual Machine section of the VMware ESXi/ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide.


install-vcenter server-installation server-installation-requirements

Update History

07/10/2012 - Added link to the ESX and vCenter Server Installation Guide

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