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How To Add VMware vCenter to Virtual Machine Manager 2012

It appears that you enjoy the articles I write on Microsoft Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager, as evidenced by the fact that these articles rank highly among the "Most Viewed Articles" listed on this site. While I am doing my best to balance between Hyper-V, vSphere and XenServer from a hypervisor perspective, I will continue to give you some Hyper-V articles before swinging back to vSphere and XenServer.

This time, let's look at how to add VMware vCenter to Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. As you should know, SCVMM 2012 can manage more than just a Microsoft virtual infrastructure; yes, it can also manage VMware and Citrix. Here is how you add vCenter in order to manage it.

For this integration to work, SCVMM needs to communicate with the vSphere infrastructure via vCenter over SSL -- simple enough, right? Not quite. By default, vCenter creates a self-signed SSL certificate for hostname "vmware". In most vCenter installations, the name of the server is not "vmware" and, as such, a secure HTTPS would fail. This is in addition to the fact that the certificate was signed by an untrusted certificate authority to begin with, as is the case with most self-signed SSL certificates.

To resolve this issue, you can do one of three things. Option one would be to purchase an SSL certificate for your vCenter from a third party. Option two, you can self-sign a certificate from your enterprise certificate authority. Option three is trusting the existing SSL certificate. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Log on to your VMM server as a local administrator, open Internet Explorer and navigate to https://vCenterServer/.
  2. If you are not logged in as local administrator or a user with sufficient permissions, it is very important that you click Shift+Right-Click on the Internet Explorer icon, and run it as an Administrator. Then, navigate to https://vCenterServer/.
  3. You will get a warning screen that the SSL Certificate is not trusted, select "Continue to this web site (not recommended)".
  4. Click the Certificate error in the Security Status bar and select View Certificate.
  5. Click Install Certificate.
  6. When the Certificate Import Wizard launches, select "Place All Certificates in the following store" and click Browse.
  7. When the Select Certificate Store window comes up, make sure you select the check box for Show physical stores.
  8. Find and expand Trusted People, select Local Computer and click OK.
  9. It is important to note that if you don't see the Local Computer option under trusted People, you are not logged in with a user that has sufficient rights, therefore, you must run Internet Explorer as an Administrator.
  10. Click Finish to complete the certificate import process.
  11. Click OK when you receive the import successful window.
  12. Close your browser, reopen it, and browse to your vCenter server. The browser should now trust your vCenter server and therefore you should not receive a certificate error. That is how you can verify if the process was successful.

Now that the certificate is installed, you can proceed to adding vCenter to VMM:

  1. Open the Fabric workspace, expand the Servers node and click Add vCenter Servers.
  2. Click Add Resources from the Home tab and click VMware vCenter Servers.
  3. The Add wizard starts, enter the FQDN, NetBios or IP of the vCenter server.
  4. Select the Run As active directory account which has administrative rights on the vCenter server and click OK.
  5. In the security area there is a check box next to Communicate with VMware ESX hosts in secure mode. By default, VMM recommends that you establish an SSL connection with the ESX hosts. This means that in addition to the vCenter certificate, you need to also resolve the ESX hosts SSL certificates so that they are trusted. If you choose to simply rely on the Run As account, you can uncheck this box.
  6. Click OK.

You should know that System Center 2012 SP1 supports vCenter 4.1 and 5.0, but depending on when you are reading this article, you should research whether your version of VMware vCenter is supported in order to avoid any issues.

Let me know in the comments section how many of you are actually using VMM to manage VMware environments. I'm very curious.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 09/26/2012 at 12:49 PM


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