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How to Build vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 1

Recently VMware released VMware vRealize Automation Center 6.2 (vCAC). I guess there will be a newer version along with vSphere 6.0. Be an ITPro you have to keep learning new stuff! I built a lab environment on my laptop for learning. I'm going to share my implementation experience below, it spent me dozen hours plus lot of documents reading. Initially I felt it's to complicate to deploy (That's looks like a tradition of VMware products). But eventually I thought it's not easy to provide a unified self-service end user interface in a multi-vendors infrastructure. Even OpenStack is not easy!

To make it easy, I'll introduce the whole build process by following sequence. This article will only focuses on installation as the whole vCAC implementation is complicate. Please read my other posts of this vCAC serials if you want to learn how to configure vCAC.

  • Hardware

  • Software

  • Storage

  • Windows and vSphere products builds (DC, DNS, vCenter Server, ESXi and vCAC...etc.)


OK, let's talk about hardware first. Since version 5.x VMware product request more memory, regular computer cannot satisfies the requirement for LAB. I need a portable and high memory computer can start up LAB quickly anywhere anytime. Laptop is top choice for me. 16 GB RAM laptop is highest one in market, it's not enough for me. Finally I found DELL M4800 is the perfect choice. It supports maximum 32 GB RAM (Special customization, it's not show up in DELL website.), you can install 3 hard disks. Be honestly it's a pretty heavy laptop! My M4800 has a native 256GB SSD disk plus an mSATA 512GB Samsung SSD disk. The i7 CPU on M4800 is powerful enough to support high workload of multiple virtual machines, the bottleneck is hard disk throughput, that's why I choice SSD disk. The speed really impressed me, its super-fast! The secondary hard disk is mSATA since there is a mSATA slot for 3G card, you can use the slot for hard disk if you don't select 3G card when purchase it. CD-ROM can also be replaced by hard disk tray, I didn't replace it since SSD disk price is still high, I would suggest purchase as bigger as you can since LAB needs space to store huge ISO files and virtual disks.


Next let's talk about software. I provide all required software download links below for your convenience.

Core components

Following software may provide different version, like enterprise, advanced or enterprise plus…etc. Please use the highest version.


VMware Workstation Installation

We'll build entire LAB on VMware Workstation, even ESXi hosts are nested. I'll not say too much about how to install VMware Workstation, just some rules below when I created virtual machine:

  • Remove not used devices to save resource, such as sound card, USB controller, floppy…etc.

  • Choose Store virtual disk as a single file when create virtual disk, it makes virtual machine folder looks clear.

  • Choose Host-only for network adapter.

Serials of How to build/configure vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 (系列文章):

How to Build vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 1
How to Build vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 2
How to Build vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 3

How to configure vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 1
How to configure vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 2
How to configure vCAC 6.2 LAB on VMware Workstation 11 – Part 3

*** Chinese Version ***

近期VMware发布了VMware vRealize Automation Center 6.2(vCAC),随着vSphere 6.0的发布我估计VMware又要发布新版本了,苦逼IT真是赶也赶不上呐!为了方便学习,打算在自己的笔记本上先搭一套系统玩玩。以下分享我的部署经验,这是我折腾了几十个小时,外加阅读大量文档的结果,刚开始觉得VMware的产品除了vSphere系列外真的是太难用了,但是现在想想,在一个多供应商的企业级环境中,要实现统一界面和流程的自助服务,确实不容易,即便是OpenStack也不容易搭建。


  • 硬件准备

  • 软件准备

  • 存储准备

  • Windows 和vSphere产品准备(域控制器、DNS服务器、vCenter Server、ESXi、vCAC等的安装)


OK,先说硬件。由于vSphere 5.x以上版本对内存要求更高,普通的电脑已经无法满足。我需要有一台便携、内存大的电脑保证随时需要时可以打开做测试。笔记本电脑是第一选择,但是市场上能买得到的最大也就16GB内存,找来找去发现戴尔的M4800可以满足需求,最大支持32GB内存(需要特别定制,网站上没写)可以装3块硬盘。M4800是一台很厚实的工作站,说实话重量不轻!硬盘我采用的是本机自带SSD硬盘外加mSATA接口的三星512GB SSD,选择SSD硬盘主要考虑速度。M4800的i7 CPU完全足以应付多台虚拟机同时运行,最大的瓶颈就是硬盘吞吐量,SSD的速度真的是让人印象深刻,超级快!我的第二块SSD硬盘装在mSATA接口上,此接口是预留给3G卡的,如果你在选购时不选择3G卡,这里就空出来给硬盘了。另外还有一个CD-ROM可以换成硬盘托架,我暂时没装。随着SSD硬盘价格下降,我建议最好选择更大的容量,因为需要存储很多ISO和虚拟机文件。






  • Java 7 Runtime

  • Chrome
    Chrome的速度明显快于IE,由于vCAC和vCenter Server的控制台使用了大量的Java脚本,Chrome不容易死机。此链接为离线安装版,适合中国大陆的IT苦逼,但要翻墙获取哦。

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client
    通过ODBC连接SQL Server的客户端。如果你安装vCenter Server时不用内置的SQL Server 2008 R2 Express数据库,则需要此软件,在我的文章中不需要此客户端,已自带了。

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio Express
    图形化界面管理vCenter Server内置的SQL Server 2008 R2 Express数据库,在安装vCAC的IaaS服务器时可能也需要用这个工具做数据库设定。

  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.2
    如果vCAC的IaaS服务器基于Windows Server 2008 R2,则需要此工具。

  • Adobe Flash Player
    IE和Chrome要运行vSphere Web Client需要用到此软件。

VMware Workstation安装

我们将在VMware Workstation上部署整个虚拟环境,其中ESXi主机将会采用内嵌模式。VMware Workstation的安装流程无需多说了吧?偷个懒,此处略去1万字。哈哈!


  • 不用的虚拟设备,比如声卡、USB控制器、软盘等,一律删除掉以节约系统资源。

  • 创建磁盘时选择Store virtual disk as a single file选项。不然虚拟机目录下会产生很多文件看着很乱。

  • 网卡我选择的都是Host-only

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