As an alternative to installing vCenter Server on a Windows machine, since vSphere 5.0, Vmware provide VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). The vCenter Server Appliance is a preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine optimized for running vCenter Server and associated services.
On stand alone vSphere host, we can use vSphere client directly to connect to the vSphere host without vCenter and then create a local user on the vSphere host. On Windows-based vCenter, user name and password are usually taken from the windows active directory server, but how about with vCSA?
vCSA actually can also use Active Directory as their back end, but what if we do not use AD and simply using local account authentication on vCSA? No problem. vCSA built based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and we can easily set up an account by using Linux command in the following way :
- SSH or Putty to machine vCSA
- Log in with a user name root and the root password of vCSA (default root password : vmware)
- Type the command to create a user : useradd username, for example : useradd vavai
- Type the password for that user with the passwd username command , for example : passwd vavai. Do not forget to use strong passwords for security reasons
- Once finished, log in to vCenter , select Permissions, and then configure the user that we just created. Select the desired permissions and then select OK
Test account by accessing vCenter using the account you have just created, you should be able to log in and access the vCenter
As a side note , vCSA is my favorite for vCenter deployment. In addition to the fact that vCSA using my favorite Linux distribution (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) as its base, easy to deploy and can reduce the cost of windows server and sql server licensingas if using vCenter based on windows server.
Moreover, VMware also increasing the capability of the vCSA. Since version 5.5, vCSA is capable to manage up to 300 hosts and up to 3000 VM, truly an attractive option for vCenter deployment.