Deploying vSphere 6.5 Update 2 Platform Services Controller (PSC) and vCenter in an HA configuration [Part 4]

This will walk you through doing the vCenter HA deployment with the Advanced option. The reason you would use the Advanced option is if the vCenter VMs are not in the inventory of the vCenter that is going to be deployed as HA. This would mean that you deployed the VMs in another vCenter. There is good reason to deploy in another vCenter. Perhaps you have a vCenter already running and you will be migrating to this newer vCenter. The other reason might be that you deployed in a different vCenter, it will allow you to snapshot the VMs during your deployment.

This document will assume that you have deployed vCenter that will end up with an HA configuration into an already existing vCenter. This will facility a migration to the new vCenter once you’ve completed the HA deployment. If you have not deployed vCenter yet you can go here to do that: Deploying vSphere 6.5 Update 2 Platform Services Controller (PSC) and vCenter in an HA configuration [Part 3]

A supported vCenter HA configuration needs to have three separate hosts. One for each vCenter (two hosts) and one for the witness server (one host). If we did the Basic install, it would put the VMs on different hosts and add anti-affinity rules. You can follow this article about deploying with less than three hosts and the configuration change that is needed. Less than three hosts is not supported and should only be used in a test/lab environment.

Deploying vSphere 6.5 vCenter HA

  1. The first thing we need to do is edit the vCenter VM you have deployed already and add a NIC to it.
  2. Place the NIC on the VLAN/portgroup that will house the vCenter HA network (this is the non-public address space for vCenter HA… meaning, the communication done on this VLAN for vCenter HA is for the exchange of HA information. You can place it on an already existing VLAN that holds other VMs but it must be on a different VLAN than the existing management or public facing VLAN).
  3. Once you have the second NIC attached, log into vCenter via the Admin Web Page. Example: https://vcenter01.conseco.ad:5480
    • You log into this page as root
  4. Click Networking on the left
  5. Click the Manage button near the top in the right pane
  6. Within the Networking Interfaces section, click the Edit button on the far right
  7. Click the triangle next to nic 1 to expand it

  1. Select Use the following IPv4 settings and enter in a valid IP for the HA network
  2. For the IPv4 Address Prefix this needs to be the correct prefix for your vCenter HA network (Example: Entering in 24 would equal 255.255.255.0)
  3. Leave the IPv4 Gateway blank as it will all be layer 2 traffic on the same VLAN
  4. IPv6 stuff should be unchecked (unless you are using IPv6).
  5. Click OK
  6. It should now show Up for both NICs with the proper IPs
  7. Click Time on the left
  8. Write down the Time zone for later use
  9. You can close this page as you are now done with it
  10. Log into the new vCenter Web Client with the administrator SSO account (make sure you use the flash client for this)
  11. Click the Home button and select Hosts and Clusters

  1. Right click the vCenter you want to do HA on and select vCenter HA Settings

  1. On the far right, click the Configure button
  2. Select Advanced and then click Next
  3. Enter in the vCenter HA IPs (not management IPs) and subnet mask that will be used for the new vCenter and Witness nodes that will be deployed. Example: If you added a second NIC for the HA network to the current vCenter box with an IP of 10.1.10.10 then possibly you would give the second vCenter that will be deployed 10.1.10.11 and the Witness server an IP of 10.1.10.12.
  4. Click Next and then DO NOT CLICK FINISH (this will come later)
  5. Log into the vSphere Web Client of the vCenter that holds the new vCenter deployment. Since you are using the Advanced Configuration, it will not be the vCenter VM you just deployed. It will be the older vCenter you are migrating from.
  6. Right click your new vCenter VM and select Clone > Clone to Virtual Machine
  7. Name your VM (Example: VCENTER02) then click Next
  8. Find a host to put this VM on. It should go on a different host than the one you are cloning (we will create anti-affinity rules later). Click Next
  9. Select an appropriate datastore and then click Next
  10. Put a check in Customize the operating system and Power on the virtual machine after creation and then click Next

  1. Click the New Customization Spec icon

  1. Enter in a name for the Customization Spec that denotes it’s for the vCenter deploy (Example: vCenter Deploy – SITE1) and then click Next
  2. Select Enter a name and type the name of the original vCenter VM (Example: VCENTER01). Now at the bottom, in Domain name enter in the domain name that is used for your VMs (Example: contoso.ad) and then click Next
  3. Now select the timezone. Generally, if you haven’t touched anything, it will be Etc/UTC. So in the drop down, select Etc then scroll down in the location area to UTC. Now click Next
  4. Now you need to specify the IPs for each of the NICs
  5. Make sure Manually select custom settings is selected
  6. Make sure NIC1 is highlight and then click the pencil
  7. Select Use the following IP settings
  8. For NIC1 you are going to enter in the same IP, subnet mask and gateway you used for your vCenter deployment (the one you used for VCENTER01).
  9. Now highlight NIC2 and then click the pencil
  10. Make sure Manually select custom settings is selected
  11. For NIC2 you are going to enter in the HA network IP address and subnet mask (leave the Default Gateway blank) that will be used for VCENTER02. This IP address will be unique on the HA network. Then click OK
  12. Validate the IPs are correct
  13. Now click Next
  14. In the DNS Search Path area, type your DNS suffix (Example: contoso.ad) and then click Add
  15. Click Next
  16. Click Finish
  17. Now select the customization you just made and then click Next
  18. Click Next again
  19. Click Finish and then allow the VM to clone and Power On
  20. Once the clone is finished we need to right click the original vCenter VM again and select Clone > Clone to Virtual Machine
  21. Enter in a name for your VM (Example: WITNESS01). Make sure you have the Datacenter selected and then click Next
  22. Find a host to put this VM on. It should go on a different host than the vCenter VMs. Click Next
  23. Put this on an appropriate datastore and then click Next
  24. Put a check in Customize the operating system and Power on the virtual machine after creation and then click Next

  1. Click the New Customization Spec icon

  1. For the Customization Spec Name just enter in the name enter a name that indicates this is for the Witness Server and then click Next
  2. Select Enter a name and type the name of the original vCenter VM (Example: VCENTER01). Now at the bottom, in Domain name enter in your domain suffix (Example: contoso.ad) and then click Next
  3. Now select the timezone. Generally, if you haven’t touched anything, it will be Etc/UTC. So in the drop down, select Etc then scroll down in the location area to UTC. Now click Next
  4. Now you need to specify the IPs for each of the NICs
  5. Make sure Manually select custom settings is selected
  6. Make sure NIC1 is highlight and then click the pencil
  7. Select Use the following IP settings
  8. For NIC1 you are going to enter in the a valid IP for the management network, subnet mask and gateway. This IP will be different from any others you’ve used
  9. For NIC2 you are going to enter in the HA network IP address and subnet mask (leave the Default Gateway blank) that will be used for WITNESS01. This IP address will be unique on the HA network. Then click OK
  10. Validate the IPs are correct
  11. Now click Next
  12. In the DNS Search Path area, type your domain suffix (Example: contoso.ad) and then click Add
  13. Click Next
  14. Click Finish
  15. Select the Customization you just created and then click Next
  16. Click Next again
  17. Click Finish and then allow the VM to clone and Power On
  18. Give the Witness VM some time to power on and start services (give it like 10 minutes to be safe)
  19. Go back to the vCenter where you started the HA configuration (where I said to not click Finish just yet). Go ahead and click Finish
  20. Eventually you will see a task:

I had to refresh the entire page (F5) for it to show. But, maybe I am just to impatient.

  1. Eventually the vCenter HA screen within the new vCenter will change to:

The task in the task pane never went to Completed status even though the vCenter HA was showing everything was up. I had to again refresh the entire screen to see it Completed.

  1. Once the task shows Completed, you can move on
  2. Gracefully shut down the Witness node. We need to adjust the resources. It does not need the kind of power a full vCenter has (which it has right now because it’s a clone of vCenter). You can drop it down to:

vCPUs: 2
Memory: 8GIG

  1. Power on the Witness node
  2. Back into the new vCenter, it is probably going to look like this:

  1. Wait for the Witness node to come back online and make sure the following:

Changes to:

This process can take 5 or so minutes

Now you get to do this all over again if you have a second site that needs this deployment

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