VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - Logo

With new VMware vSphere version 6 much more people choose vCenter Server Appliance instead of vCenter on Windows because now it has same limits. However there are still organisations which prefer to use vCenter Server on Windows Server. In first post – VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 – Part 1 I will describe Microsoft SQL Server 2014 preparation and installation. In next post I will continue with database creation and vCenter Server installation.

Software versions

As usual below you will find software version I am using when writing this post.

Operating System – Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

Database – Microsoft SQL Server 2014

vCenter Server 6 – vCenter Server 6.0.0b released 07.072015, build 2800571

Software minimal requirements

Windows Server 2012 R2 requirements – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn303418.aspx

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 requirements – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506(v=sql.120).aspx#pmosr

vCenter Server 6 requirements – http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMW-vCTR-SRVR-Deployment-Guide-6-0.pdf page 6

By my calculation you need for the smallest environment (lab installation) we will need 2 vCPU, 12GB of RAM and about 140GB of storage and I will assign those resources to virtual machine.

Windows Server preparation

Even though this post describes installation for smallest environment which will be used as lab I want to show you how it should be installed in professional way. This involves correct disk alignment and  SQL Server 2014 configuration.

I used following disk layout as described as in TechNet document http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2012/12/19/disk-and-file-layout-for-sql-server.aspx.

  • Disk C: OS – 60 GB
  • Disk E: SYSDB – 10 GB
  • Disk F: Tempdb – 10 GB
  • Disk G: Tempdb logs – 10 GB
  • Disk H: User databases – 10 GB
  • Disk I: User DB logs – 10 GB
  • Disk J: Database backup – 10 GB
  • Disk K: vCenter Server binaries -20 GB

Another thing that we have to do before installation is enabling of .Net Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. We can do it simply from PowerShell by executing following command. Start Powershell console as Administrator and connect Windows Server 2012 R2 to CD Drive.

Wait for installation to finish and start SQL Server installation.

VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 9

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 installation

  1. Launch SQL Server installation and select first option.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 1
  2. Select instance to install. I will use this SQL Server as evaluation but if you have product key enter it below.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 2
  3. Accept license terms and click next.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 3
  4. On the next screen you will see simple checkup if all components needed for setup are installed.VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 4
  5. Choose if you want to use Microsoft Update to check for updates.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 5
  6. Wait for SQL Server installer installs binaries.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 6
  7. On next screen we need to choose which features will be installed. Choose SQL Server Feature Installation.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 7
  8. Select following features:
    • Database Engine Services
    • Client Tools Connectivity
    • Integration Services
    • Management Tools – Basic
    • Management Tools – Complete

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  9. Specify the name and instance ID for SQL Server. I choose default one – MSSQLSERVER.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 10
  10. In Server Configuration section – Service Accounts tab leave defaults.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 11
  11. Switch to Collation to check if you have SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS collation.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 12
  12. Click next and first we will configure authentication mode and SQL Server administrators. I suggest to use Windows authentication mode because you can specify Active Directory group instead of local SQL Server accounts. I added my account to admin group but it might be that someone else in your organization will be SQL Server administrator.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 13
  13. Switch to Data Directories tab. I changed pretty much every directory to avoid filling up database disk by transactional logs. I suggest you do the same to ensure smooth SQL Server operation.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 14
  14. Click Next and review settings you provided. Please bare in mind that you can use ini file to install new services with your setting you just provided. Simply start setup.exe from iso file and point to ini file.

    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 15

  15. Click Install and wait for installation to finish.
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 16
  16. Success!
    VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - 17

Next steps

In next post I will guide you through vCenter Server database and ODBC creation. Here is the link to next part of article VMware vCenter Server 6 on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Microsoft SQL Server 2014 – Part 2.

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Wojciech Marusiak
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Wojciech Marusiak

Consultant at VMware Global, Inc.
I am innovative and experienced VMware and Windows Server Engineer with over 10 years in the IT industry specializing in VMware virtualization and Microsoft Server environment.

My experience and skills has been proven by leading vendor certifications like VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Administration, VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5 – Data Center Design, VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization, VMware Certified Professional 6 - Network Virtualization, Microsoft MCITP Server Administrator, ITIL V3, VMware vExpert 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Award.

My blog wojcieh.net - was voted #50 in TopvBlog 2016 contest!
Wojciech Marusiak
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