Installing vCenter 6 in Enhanced Linked Mode – Step By Step

With many changes to the Architecture in version 6, there also happened to be many ways to deploy a vCenter Server in the environment. For the small environments, the embedded mode is pretty much the right choice, however for the bigger environments with multiple vCenter Servers, Enhanced Linked Mode is what needed. While going through many deployment scenarios, i came across a blog page by Jonathan McDonald here. I would strongly recommend reading that before going any further in this post. This post is just an implementation of one of the deployment methods mentioned by Jonathan McDonald.

Now that you have gone through the mentioned blog, we are going to implement the Enhanced Linked Mode with External PSC and No High Availability. Let’s get started.

2016-08-30 09_18_35-How to properly architect and deploy vCenter 6.0 - Jonathan McDonald - VMware Bl


By now, you would already know that we need to first install PSC. I am using the Windows-based vCenter Server and any combination of VCSA and Windows vCenter are still valid. Mount the vCenter Server iso to the VM.

Start the installation by clicking on the Install button.

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Click Next .

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Accept the EULA and click Next.

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On the next screen, from the External Deployment section, click on the Platform Services Controller Radio button.

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On the next screen, the name of the system should populate automatically, make changes  if necessary. Click Next.

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On the Next screen, create a password for the administrator account in vsphere.local domain. If you are deploying this PSC as a secondary PSC, you would need to select the second radio button and provide the existing  administrator account password. Click Next.

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Verify the port numbers.

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Change the installation directory if needed.

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Review the settings and click  on Install.

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Wait untill the installation completes and click Finish.

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We are now done with the PSC installation. We now need to install the vCenter Server on a different machine. I will continue using Windows-based installation for vCenter as well. Now, using the same iso we used for the PSC installation, we will start the installation and on the deployment type page, we would need to select vCenter Server Radio button.

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On the next screen, verify the vCenter Server name and click Next.

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On the next screen, enter the PSC server details and the SSO password that we setup during the PSC installation.

Note: Enter the name exactly as it was during the installation of PSC.  On the below screen, i entered it wrong and i got an error(in the following screens) . I should have used PSC instead of psc,  crap thing but that’s how it works!! Click Next.

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Accept the certificate from CA by clicking OK.

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Configure a service account for the vCenter Server service, this is the recommended best practice. Click Next.

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Since i used a service account and the account did not have the privileges to log on as service, i got the below error message.

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To fix the error message,  change the local policy setting using secpol.msc. Navigate to the User Rights Assignment section and search for the Log on as Service policy on the right side. Right click on it.

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From the properties dialog box, add the service account using the Add User or Group button and click OK. Sometimes you may need to reboot  the machine for the policy to come into effect. Back to the vCenter installation screen. Click Next.

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Select either an embedded database or use the DSN Name if you have an external DB setup already. Click Next.

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Click next after verifying the ports.

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Modify the installation  location if needed. Click Next.

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Review the settings and click on Install to start the installation.

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In case you face an error below, it is because of the stale entries of the old SSO and they can be cleaned using the KB here. As per some blogs and users who faced this issue earlier did not get this fixed using the KB but they had to redo the installation of PSC. Even i had to re-do the installation of PSC and use the name of PSC  exactly the same as it is case-sensitive.

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Once the installation is complete, you should see the screen below.

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With this we will be done with the VC installation, repeat the same process for other vCenter Servers as well and point them to the same PSC.

Once done, we will be able to manage both the vCenter Servers from the same web client.

2016-08-30 15_03_04-PSC - VMware Workstation

If you enjoyed reading this, you may also like this post on vSphere 6.5.

Hope this was informative. Thanks!


#enhanced-linked-mode, #external-psc, #psc, #vcenter-server