Installing and Configuring the vCenter Orchestrator Appliance 5.5.2

As I start to update my lab with a fresh new build, I wanted to make sure I have all the tools i’ll need to take the Automation journey and to sharpen my skill-sets around the tools that VMware offers, PowerCLI, vCenter Orchestrator, and vCloud Automation Center.

In the past I have seen vCenter Orchestrator installation and configuration a bit painful and I have read in other blogs and social networks that I wasn’t the only one having issues with the initial configuration.

I’m happy to report that the latest Appliance version of vCO is a breeze to install and configure just like many of VMware’s appliance-based solutions like the vCenter Server Appliance and the vCenter Support Assistant, to name a few.  VMware is making it much easier to deploy these solutions with the appliance model, at the same time, lessening some of the license burden that our customer’s bear regarding Operating Systems and Database licensing.

The first Appliance I will cover is the latest vCO Appliance 5.5.2 which can be downloaded here.  The .OVA file is around 800MB in size.

Of course, prior to deploying the .OVA, we want to make sure that we have all the information we will need prior to the installation such as DNS Name and Entry, IP information, and passwords for both root and vmware built-in accounts.

When you have all the prereq’s covered you can launch the Web Client and Deploy the Appliance:


Review the details and hit Next:


Accept the EULA and hit Next:


Select the Name and Folder and hit Next:


Select the Storage and hit Next (I deployed the .OVA at the Cluster level, if you chose Data Center it would ask for the Resource prior to Storage):


Setup your Network that vCO should reside:


Customize the Template with Passwords, IP, and DNS Information:


Select Power on after Deployment and hit Finish:


When vCO powers on we will want to check a few things via the ‘admin’ interface.  You can access this by going to this link:

https://<your vco ip or fqdn>:5480

Log in as root and the password you chose during the template customization.


If you’ve worked with VMware Appliances in the past this interface should be very familiar.  Here I validate all my settings,  change my Timezone and check for updates:

vco_timezone vco_updates

Now we are ready to move on to the vCenter Orchestrator Configuration which you can access by going to this link:

https://<your vco ip or fqdn>:8283

This time, log in as vmware with the password you chose during the template customization:


Pending which Authentication Source  you choose (in my case I chose SSO so this tutorial will be based on that) you need to get the SSL Certificates for SSO and vCenter.  Choose the Network Option in the left column, then the SSL Trust Manager Tab.  Here we are going to import the SSL Certificates for SSO typing in https://ssoserver(in my case it was my vCenter Server FQDN):7444 then select import.  Do the same for your vCenter server without specifing the port so https://FQDN or IP of your vCenter Server then select import.  If all goes well, your certificates will be imported and shown in the SSL Table:


Let’s move to Authentication in the left hand column.  Choose SSO as your Authentication mode and supply the SSO server information and credentials and select Register Orchestrator.  In my case, it found my AD as a valid SSO Authentication Source and I listed Domain:Domain Admins and selected Update Orchestrator Configuration.


*Very important: The next step is to restart the vCO Server Service.  I found that this is required to accept the changes

Choose Startup Options in the left hand column and click the Restart service link under vCO Server.vco_service

After the service has been restarted now we are ready to add our vCenter Server.  Choose vCenter Server (5.5.2) in the left hand column and the New vCenter Server Host tab,  fill in all the appropriate information to add the vCenter Server and choose Apply Changes:

vco_vcenterAnd that’s it for the basic install.  Now let’s go check the vCenter Web Client to make sure that vCO is linked to vCenter and let’s test a Workflow to validate functionality.

Launch your Web Client and Select vCenter Orchestrator under Inventories:

vco_webclientHere we can now see one vCO Server listed:


Let’s test a workflow.  Click on Scheduled workflows then Schedule a Workflow. Expand the vCO server and you will see a list of Library folders that contain built in, out of the box workflows for Orchestrator.  Scroll down to vCenter and expand the folder to Host management, then Basic.  Here you will see a list of prebuilt Workflows.  We will test vCO functionality by simply putting a host in maintenance mode so choose Enter maintenance mode and then hit Next:


Click on the + symbol next to the empty field under Host to put in maintenance mode then select Filter and choose the host:


Click OK then click Next. Choose Run now then hit finish.


Now we can see VM’s are being migrated after a Maintenance Mode operation has been kicked off:


And here is the outcome from the Workflow:


There ya have it.  We installed and configured the vCenter Orchestrator Appliance and ran a simple built-in Workflow to validate functionality.

Stay tuned for more articles like these as I build my new Lab!

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