Running vSphere 5 VSA in VMware Workstation 8

I do not have a lot of hardware laying around to test new things, so I have to use VMware Workstation to its full extent. I really wanted to test out vSphere 5 and the VSA to see how it worked.

So after a few failed attempts I thought that this was not going to end well. So after doing some research and finding a few helpful posts online,( I was able to get it to work.

The reason that this does not want to work out of the box on workstation is because of some of the checks that the VSA installer does to make sure that the hardware is robust enough to support the VSA environment.

Here is what I did to make this work.

Windows 7 64bit, i7 Q820M procs 1.73Gb, 16Gb mem, enough disk space. (DELL M6500)VMware Workstation 8
NAT network is sub GW

I created 4 VM’s in workstation.

name: ESX5-1
4Gb mem
Proc 2
HD 200GB
Tick the checkbox for: Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD/-V/RVI

Name: ESX5-2
4Gb mem
Proc 2
HD 200GB
Tick the checkbox for: Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD/-V/RVI

Name: DC
1Gb mem
Proc 1
OS: Win2008R2SP2 Setup as a DC and DNS

Name: VC
2Gb mem
Proc 2
HD 40Gb
OS: Win2008R2SP2

Install ESXi 5 on both ESXi servers
Set static IP for both, add hostname and DNS server (DC server)

Server DC: install OS, setup static IP, add DC role and setup server as domain controller and DNS server. Add the ESXi hosts to the DNS server.(very important!)

Server VC: install OS, setup static IP and DNS. Install VC and VC client. Install Adobe Flash (VC cannot be installed on DC, hence the reason for the second windows server).

Mount the VSA iso and install the vsamanager from \installers\VMware-VSAManager\VMware-vsamanager.exe

Once completed go to: C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\tomcat\webapps\VSAManager\WEB-INF\classes and edit the file

Change the line: evc.config=true to evc.config=false
Change the line: host.audit=true to host.audit=false

The first change is needed because EVC is not supported in this type of configuration. The second is needed if you do not some of the other hardware requirements do not meet the minimum. (in my case my i7 procs do not run at the required min speed of 2Ghz.) So the change it needed to bypass the check for this.

Now reboot the VC server.

At this point we are ready to install/configure the VSA. You can do this through the GUI or through the command line. After trying this a few times, the command line is just a bit faster and will give you more info in case something goes wrong and you need to troubleshoot. The GUI would just hang and not tell you what failed.

So with the VSA ISO still mounted you type in the following command:

D: = DVD

D:\install.exe -u root -p password -si

What this will do is:
Scan your local subnet for ESXi servers
create a Datacenter
create a Cluster
add the hosts to the cluster
setup the networking
import and configure the appliances
setup the datastores


If you follow these steps, you should be good to go to test the VSA.

Note about cleanup:
If you want to uninstall and reinstall the VSA to test a few different things I have found out a few things as well.
There is a cleanup.bat file I could not get to work. After inspecting the file to see what it did I found out that it is using java to uninstall.
Even though the documentation says that the java runtime is installed when VC is installed, I was not able to find it, so I installed Jave 6.

Then I took the command from the bat file and run it manually.

Open up a command shell:
Make sure you are in the following directory:
C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\tomcat\webapps\VSAManager\WEB-INF\Classes

Then run the following command
“C:\Program Files (X86)\Java\jre6\bin\java” -cp .;..\lib\* %1 %2

Change %1 for your VC username example: domain\administrator and change %2 for the password associated with %1.

What I have noticed is that if you if you did the install as descripted above, the uninstall does not remove 100% of the changes it made. Not a big deal, just use the VC client, log into the hosts directly and delete everything that was created by the VSA installed.

If you use a slightly different install:
D:\install.exe -u root -p password -si -nh
(-nh does not create a cluster so you will not have HA etc, setup/enabled)
and you do the un-install as described above, it will clean everything up correctly.

I hope this info is helpful, I for sure am happy that I can now test the VSA.

Posted in Uncategorized
3 comments on “Running vSphere 5 VSA in VMware Workstation 8
  1. weathervane says:

    Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Cheers!

  2. BrandDavidson says:

    Great blog to my mind. Thank u a lot for sharing that information.

    Brand Davidson

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