VMware – VMworld 2016 – INF8260 – Automated Deployment and Configuration of the vCenter Server Appliance

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2016 – US.  My flights were paid for by myself, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.


These are my rough notes from “INF8260 – Automated Deployment and Configuration of the vCenter Server Appliance” presented by Alan Renouf and William Lam.


  • Speaker intro
  • vCenter Server Appliance overview
  • vCSA Deployment
  • vCSA Migration
  • vCSA Configuration
  • vCSA API Tech Preview
  • Takeaway


Speaker Intro

@alanrenouf – http://virtu-al.net

@lamw – http://www.virtuallyghetto.com



6.0 – feature parity with Windows vCenter Server

What about update manager? 6.0 U1 has integration with web client, still need windows … for the moment.

Distributed as an ISO

  • vCSA OVA
  • additional tools for deployment

UI supported on Windows and Linux

CLI on windows, linux and Mac OS X
directory – vcsa-cli-installer

sample templates provided


-h (for help)

dash dash verify-only


vCSA Deployment

CLI based

  • JSON configuration file
  • JSON editors (William uses Atom)



vCSA Migration (Tech Preview)

  • released as a fling in 2015
  • there will be official vCSA migration tool
  • migrates from windows vCenter 5.5 to vCSA 6.0u2
    • supports physical or visual
    • supports sql server (full, express), oracle
    • supports 5.5 deployment topologies
    • available to consume via CLI/UI

JSON file to specify migration path

how it works – demo video


vCSA Configuration


Core plugins

Extension plugins

help pi list

extends appliancesh with existing shell/utility commands



vCSA API Tech Preview

  • appliancesh only available via ssh
  • limited remote automation options
  • limited powercli automation of appliance management
  • limited multi-platform cli automation of appliance management
  • no SDKs for programmatic configuration of appliance management

What they’re working towards:

  • REST based API for app management configuration
  • API explorer for try it now
  • full coverage, easy to use documentation
  • remote access powercli cmdlets for all API functionality
  • easy to use multi-platform for all API functionality
  • multiple SDKs for all API functionality



  • vCSA is production-ready
  • entire lifecycle of vCSA can be automated
  • VMware will give you a choice in dev and automation interfaces for appliance mgmt in the future

Top session. Great demos. 4.5 stars.