Monday, 1 October 2012

Installing vCenter Orchestrator 5.1

Installing and Configuring vCenter Orchestrator 5.1

VMware vCenter Orchestrator is a development- and process-automation platform that provides a library of extensible workflows to allow you to create and run automated, configurable processes to manage the VMware vSphere infrastructure as well as other VMware and third-party technologies.

Orchestrator exposes every operation in the vCenter Server API, allowing you to integrate all of these operations into your automated processes. Orchestrator also allows you to integrate with other management and administration solutions through its open plug-in architecture.

To know more about Orchestrator 5.1, CLICK HERE

Orchestrator Architecture
Orchestrator contains a workflow library and a workflow engine to allow you to create and run workflows that automate orchestration processes. You run workflows on the objects of different technologies that Orchestrator accesses through a series of plug-ins.

VMware vCenter Orchestrator 5.1 Architecture

Orchestrator provides a standard set of plug-ins, including a plug-in for vCenter Server, to allow you to orchestrate tasks in the different environments that the plug-ins expose.

Orchestrator also presents an open architecture to allow you to plug in external third-party applications to the orchestration platform. You can run workflows on the objects of the plugged-in technologies that you define yourself. Orchestrator connects to a directory services server to manage user accounts, and to a database to store information from the workflows that it runs. You can access Orchestrator, the Orchestrator workflows, and the objects it exposes through the Orchestrator client interface, through a Web browser, or through Web services. 

Hardware Requirements for Orchestrator

  • 2.0GHz or faster Intel or AMD x86 processor. At least two CPUs are recommended. 

NOTE: Processor requirements might differ if your database runs on the same hardware.

  • 4GB RAM. You might need more RAM if your database runs on the same hardware.
  • 2GB disk space. You might need more storage if your database runs on the same hardware.
  • A free static IP address.

Operating Systems for Orchestrator

You can install the Orchestrator 5.1 server only on 64-bit operating systems.

NOTE: Orchestrator requires a working LDAP server.

Orchestrator Database Requirements

Orchestrator requires a database. It is recommended that the Orchestrator database is separate from the standard vCenter Server database. For small-scale deployments, you can use the SQL Server Express database that is bundled with vCenter Server.

Orchestrator supports Oracle, SQL Server 2003, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server Express, PostgreSQL, as well as the vCenter Server datasource.


This guide is going to assume that you have already installed and configured VMware vCenter Server and all the necessary components mentioned above.

If not, then you can get the steps for Installing and Configuring vCenter Server HERE.


Orchestrator consists of a server component and a client component. You can install the Orchestrator components on the machine on which vCenter Server is installed or on a separate machine. To improve performance, install the Orchestrator server component on a separate machine.

After you install Orchestrator standalone, you must start the Orchestrator Configuration service, and configure Orchestrator by using the Orchestrator configuration interface.

You can install the Orchestrator configuration server on 64-bit Windows machines only. The Orchestrator client can run on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows machines.

To install Orchestrator, you must be either a local Administrator or a domain user that is a member of the Administrators group.

To get started, go to Start >> Run >> services.msc

In the Services console, search for VMware vCenter Orchestrator Configuration

By default, this should be stopped. Right Click on it and Start up the Service

NOTE: I am assuming that vCenter Orchestrator was installed already on this system.

The service will take few seconds to start

Once started, it will appear in the Services console as shown below

After the vCenter deployment, login to the webpage of the Orchestrator Configurator to finish the installation. For this, open your browser and type the following address:

             ( or )

The Orchestrator ip address is probably the same as your vCenter’s ip address (in case you installed all components on the same machine).

 If you get a certificate warning, simply Confirm the Security Exception and continue

Login with the following username and password: vmware / vmware

You will be prompted to change the password. 

Once done, you will be shown Orchestrator's Configuration wizard as shown below.  

When you’re ready, go to the Network configuration panel and check your network parameters. On this tab you can also assign a certificate to secure the connection between the Orchestrator and the vCenter Server

When you install Orchestrator, the IP address that the Orchestrator client interface uses to communicate to the server is not set automatically. To change this, you must configure the network settings used by Orchestrator. 

  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware.
  2. Click Network.
  3. From the IP address drop-down menu, select the IP address to which you want to bind the Orchestrator server.
    Orchestrator discovers the IP address of the machine on which the server is installed.
    The corresponding DNS name appears. If no network name is found, the IP address appears in the DNS name text box. Use this IP address to log in to the Orchestrator client interface.
  4. Set up the communication ports. 
  5. Click Apply Changes when done.

You can import the vCenter Server SSL certificate from the SSL Trust Manager tab in the Orchestrator configuration interface.

  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware.
  2. Click Network.
  3. In the right pane, click the SSL Trust Manager tab.
  4. Load the vCenter Server SSL certificate in Orchestrator from a URL address or file.

Orchestrator requires an authentication method to work properly and manage user permissions. You must select an authentication method so that you can work with Orchestrator.

Orchestrator 5.1 supports two types of authentications:

  • LDAP authentication >> Orchestrator connects to a working LDAP server.
  • vCenter Single Sign On >> Orchestrator authenticates through vCenter Single Sign On.
  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware.
  2. Click Authentication.
  3. Select SSO Authentication from the Authentication mode drop-down menu.
  4. In the Host text box, type the URL for the machine on which you have installed the vCenter Single Sign On server https://your_vcenter_single_sign_on_server:7444
  5. In the Admin user name and Admin password text boxes, type the credentials of the vCenter Single Sign On admin.
    The account is temporarily used only for registering or removing Orchestrator as a solution.
  6. Click Register Orchestrator.

You can test the login to see whether it was configured correctly or not using the Test Login Tab

When you ready with the LDAP part, go to the Database configuration. The Orchestrator supports the following database engines:
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server Express
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
 NOTE: Before you select the appropriate engine for Orchestrator, you need to create a new, clean database on the database server and refer to it when you configure the Database name

I created my database using SQL Server Express Edition. Orchestrator can work with SQL Server Express when the deployment does not exceed 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. 

To know more on how to create a Database using SQL Server Express, CLICK HERE

  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware.
  2. Click the Database tab.
  3. From the Select the database type drop-down menu, select SQLServer.
  4. In the User name and Password (if any) text boxes, type your Windows credentials.
  5. In the Database server IP address or DNS name text box, type the IP address of the machine on which Orchestrator and the database are installed.
  6. In the Port text box, type the TCP/IP port of SQL Server, which usually is 1433.
  7. In the Database name text box, type the name of the SQL Server Express database you created, for example vco.
  8. In the Instance name (if any) text box, type the name of the database instance.
    You can leave this field blank, if you have only one instance of SQL Server installed on the machine.
  9. In the Domain text box either type the domain name of the machine on which Orchestrator and the database are installed, or type localhost.
  10. Select Use Windows authentication mode (NTLMv2).
  11. Click Apply.
  12. Build or update the database as necessary and click Apply changes.

You should see the message that "the database is successfully installed". With this, Orchestrator is ready to work with SQL Server Express

Installing Orchestrator or deploying the Orchestrator requires that you create a certificate. You can create a self-signed certificate to guarantee encrypted communication and a signature for your packages.

  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware
  2. Click Server Certificate.
  3. Click Create certificate database and self-signed server certificate.

Type the relevant information.
From the drop-down menu, select a country.
Click Create.

Orchestrator generates a server certificate that is unique to your environment. The details about the certificate's public key appear in the Server Certificate window. The certificate's private key is stored in the vmo_keystore table of the Orchestrator database.

To complete the configuration process for the Orchestrator server, you must import the vCenter Server license. 

  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware.
  2. Click Licenses.
  3. On the vCenter Server License tab, specify the details about the vCenter Server host on which Orchestrator must verify the license key. In the Host text box, type the IP address or the DNS name of the vCenter Server host.
  4. In the Port text box, leave the default value, 443.
  5. (Optional) Select the Secure channel check box to establish a secure connection to the vCenter Server host.
  6. In the Path text box, use the default value, /sdk. This is the location of the SDK that you use to connect to your vCenter Server instance.
  7. In the User name and Password text boxes, type the credentials that Orchestrator must use to establish the connection to vCenter Server.
    The user you select must be a valid user with administrative privileges on your vCenter Server, preferably at the top of the vSphere tree structure.
  8. (Optional) To view details of the license to import, click License details.
  9. Click Apply changes.

If you installed Orchestrator standalone, verify that your system has at least 2GB of RAM. The Orchestrator server might not start if your system does not meet this requirement.

NOTE: All of the status indicators must display a green circle. You cannot start the Orchestrator server if any of the components is not configured properly.

  1. Log in to the Orchestrator configuration interface as vmware.
  2. Click Startup Options.
  3. (Optional) Click Install vCO server as service.
    The Orchestrator server is installed as a Windows service.
  4. Click Start service.
  5. The Orchestrator server status appears as Service is starting. The first boot can take 5-10 minutes because it is installing the Orchestrator plug-ins content in the database tables.

A message states that the service is started successfully.

You can check whether the service has actually started by checking it out in the "Services console"

The service will show the status as "Running". Use the "Refresh" option to check the status

To get started with vCenter Orchestrator, go to Start >> VMware >> vCenter Orchestrator Client as shown

In the Client window, select the vCenter server from the drop down and provide the login details

Accept the "Certificate Warning" as shown

Voila !! You should see your vCenter Orchestrator 5.1 as shown below !!

That's it for this tutorial.. stay tuned for more such how-to guides !!

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