How to bootstrap VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) onto a single vSAN node

Previously it was a bit difficult to install VMware vCenter onto vSAN since you had to enable vSAN prior vCenter installation, and as you are aware, vSAN is a vCenter feature. VMware finally gave us the possibility to bootstrap VCSA onto a single vSAN node. In other words, you can enable vSAN feature under VCSA deployment. Once deployed, your VCSA will reside on fully functional vSAN. Of course, you must add additional hosts contributing storage to the vSAN cluster.

First, you need to download and install VMware ESXi server. This is covered in one of my previous articles. Once your ESXi host is installed and configured, download vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), and run the installer. In this example, I will use vCenter with embedded Platform Service Controller. On the introduction dialog click Next. Accept the EULA and click Next.

1 Select the option with the embedded platform service controller and click Next.

2. Type in the target ESXi host, root username and password and click Next.

3. Type in the virtual machine display name and choose the root password for the VCSA. When done click Next.

4. Select the VCSA deployment size and click Next.

5. Select the option to install the VCSA on the new vSAN cluster, type in the Datacenter and the Cluster name and click Next.

On the next screen type in your network configuration and click Next to begin the installation. I strongly recommend using the DNS server instead of IP addresses. Once your VCSA is up and running, you can add additional ESXI hosts contributing storage to your vSAN cluster. In my next article, I will explain in detail how to deploy 2 node direct connect vSAN cluster (ROBO).

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