vCenter Server on your AD Domain Controller?

Ok, so it’s not the most clever thing you can do, but in a lab situation you may not simply have the machines or licences to go around.

vmware tends to agree – the vCenter server itself wont normally install on a system where AD is running.

This product can only be installed on the following 64-bit operating systems:
Windows XP SP2 or above
Windows 2003
Windows 2008

The secret is to get vCenter to use different ports for its ADAM instance.

As I prefer scripting to clickity-click you can put in a default vCenter server build (with different LDAP ports) using

start-process -wait -filepath z:\vpx\VMware-vcserver.exe -argumentlist '/q /s /w /L1033 /v" /qr DB_SERVER_TYPE=Bundled FORMAT_DB=1 VCS_ADAM_LDAP_PORT=3899 VCS_ADAM_SSL_PORT=6369"'

You should install vCenter Server before promoting to AD. Once it’s done you can run dcpromo.exe to set up the AD.

Note: You wont be able to re-install the vCenter server though so the usefulness to you may vary. That’s right, this is not a recommended production deployment 😉

If you know what everything above is doing – great. If you don’t, then assume it will eat your children.

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One thought on “vCenter Server on your AD Domain Controller?

  1. I’m currently working on setting up a VMware lab with limited/ancient machines.

    Yesterday, I dumped $100 on 4x2GB DDR2 sticks expecting to use an already-configured, dusty, old, on-the-cheap AMD 6000+ AD/DNS/DHCP/MSSQL box as the vCenter Server 5.0.1…And I received that message:

    “This product can only be installed on the following 64-bit operating systems:
    Windows XP SP2 or above
    Windows 2003
    Windows 2008”

    I am dissapoint!

    I have two cheap $340 i3 boxes with 4 Gigs each to act as EXSi hypervisors…And I want to keep them pristine. I wish I had a dedicated host for vCenter Server, but that’s just not gonna happen.

    Limited lab. Limited switch. Limited hardware.

    Thanks for the hint for making a non “best practices” vCenter installation on the DC box that has more RAM to handle vCenter Server natively than via a VM device.

    I’m wiping the AD/DNS/DHCP/MSSQL box and starting from scratch. We shall see if this setup works.

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