Monday, October 22, 2012

vCenter 5.1 Install Notes

This post is a "live document" covering any "gotchas" that I discover as I install vCenter Server for vSphere 5.1 in various environments.

Install Defaults

SSO HTTPS Port: 7444
SSO Lookup Service URL: https://:/lookupservice/sdk
IS HTTPS Port: 10443
IS service mgmt port: 10109
IS linked mode comm port: 10111
IS Memory (small): 3072MB
IS Memory (med): 6144MB
IS Memory (large): 12288MB
VC HTTPS Port: 443
VC HTTP Port: 80
VC Heartbeat: 902
WebSvc HTTP Port: 8080
WebSvc HTTPS Port: 8443
WebSvc ChangeSvc Notification: 60099
LDAP Port: 389
SSL Port: 636
VC Memory (small): 1024MB
VC Memory (med): 2048MB
VC Memory (large): 3072MB
WebClient HTTP Port: 9090
WebClient HTTPS Port: 9443

Process Flow


Service Ports

Chances are very good that you'll be challenged by the Windows Firewall. Make sure that it's either disabled, or the appropriate ports are opened.

SSO Administrator Credentials

The default user (admin@System-Domain) is not changeable at installation, and you'd better keep the password you set well-documented. This is required when installing other dependent services.

JDBC requires fixed ports

The SSO service uses the JDBC library for connectivity to Microsoft SQL. JDBC is ignorant of named instances, dynamic ports and the use of the SQL Browser or SSRP. Before trying to install SSO, you must go into the SQL Server Configuration Manager and configure a static port. If there's only one SQL instance on the host, you can use the default (1433), otherwise, pick something out of the air.
"Dynamic Ports" is blank; "TCP Port" is set to the static port you desire.
If you want to avoid restarting the instance that's already running, you can set the currently-used port as the static port. The server will go on using that port (which it chose dynamically) until it restarts; after that, it'll use the same port as a static port.

SSO requires SQL Authentication

A good sign that SQL Auth is not enabled for the server.
Although the installer makes it look like you can install the services and use Windows Authentication, the service actually uses SQL Auth. This is also a side-effect of using JDBC libraries instead of native Windows ODBC or ADO libraries.
You can install with Windows Auth, but the service can't use it for DB logon.
If your database engine is not configured for SQL Auth, you'll need to talk to your DBAs—and possibly, your security officer(s)—to make it available. Changing the authentication from Windows to "Windows & SQL" may require restarting the instance; your DBAs will let you know when the job is completed.

Changes in 5.1.0a
Looks like VMware took some information to heart on broken installs and modified the SSO install dialog for database connectivity:
JDBC Connection for 5.1.0a SSO Installation
It is no longer possible to install using Windows Authentication. You will need to have created the user & DBA accounts as SQL Auth; the quick/easy way to get it right is to use the CreateUser script in the same folder as the CreateTablespace script.

SSO Service is Java

Like other services in the vCenter suite, SSO is a Java executable. You will want to review the heap size settings to be sure that it's reserving enough space to be useful, but not so much that it's wasteful. The default is 1024MB and can be adjusted by editing the "wrapper.java.additional.9" value in SSOServer\conf\wrapper.conf
Original memory: 1024MB; Running memory: 384MB

Inventory Service Service is Java

Like other services in the vCenter suite, Inventory Service (IS) is a Java executable. Although the installer gives you three choices for the heap size settings, you might want to tweak that value a little to be sure that it's reserving enough space to be useful, but not so much that it's wasteful. The value can be adjusted by editing the "wrapper.java.maxmemory" value in Inventory Service\conf\wrapper.conf
Small memory model: 3072MB; Running memory: 384MB

vCenter Database

Create the 64-bit Server DSN for the vCenter Server database connection before you start the installation. In order to do that, you'll have to create a blank database, too, or you can't set the DSN to connect to the right database by default.

Another gotcha: Using the built-in DOMAIN\Administrator account could backfire on you. Recommended practice, naturally, is to use a service account; however, you've got to run the installer from the account you want for the services to run under if you also want to use Windows Auth. That requires either logging in as that user, or running the installer with the "runas" utility.

vCenter Server Service is Java

Like other services in the vCenter suite, vCenter Server is a Java executable. Although the installer gives you three choices for the heap size settings, you might want to tweak that value a little to be sure that it's reserving enough space to be useful, but not so much that it's wasteful. The value can be adjusted by editing the "wrapper.java.maxmemory" value in tomcat\conf\wrapper.conf
Small memory model: 1024MB; Running memory: 384MB

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