Several install hours later with remoting headaches, a rather crude solution for those that need to install the vcenter server appliance in their datacenter. ESXi hosting servers are assumed to be running and well, but DNS proper in the network is required. Here comes the pitfall when using a DHCP environment with VMWare’s approach to generate MAC addresses on-the-fly. The default vcenter appliance install just hums through and assumes all is well, until step 2 arrives, where the server appliance is configured. Here, the settings manually configured are clashing with the ones coming from DNS and the ones put into the appliance. A simple solution is the following:
- Use the installer as-is and configure the network parameters manually or via DHCP.
- Make sure your DHCP server has a fixed entry for a pre-determined MAC address (e.g., from another virtual machine/appliance) to use.
- When step 1 of the installation from the vcenter server appliance is finished and you are about to go to step 2, power off the virtual machine. Pull the virtual power plug. If yopu start the installation/setup wizard from the machine itself or the installer, go back to a re-install.
- With the machine off, change the MAC address to the one in the DHCP configuration.
- Re-start the virtual machine.
- The installer will no longer connect, so you need to log into the machine to continue the installation process.