After seeing the difficulty that users are having installing vSphere 5.1, I thought I would put together a consolidated listing of blog posts I’ve written on the subject, plus a few links to key VMware sites. There is no one perfect vCenter 5.1 installation guide as every environment is different, and requires some thought before just delving into the install.
The most popular resource is the 15 part vCenter 5.1 installation guide. It is a very detailed step-by-step process with lots of screenshots that make the install process more logical and process oriented than just trying to wing it on your own. VMware has been improving their KB articles over time, so it’s certainly worthwhile to check out their documentation as well (links below).
The 15-part install series has gotten hundreds of comments, many of which have good information about problems people have encountered and the workarounds. So don’t just skip over the comments, as it might help you solve an install problem or avoid one to begin with.
vCenter 5.1 Installation Guide
Part 1 (SSO Service)
Part 2 (Create vCenter SSL Certificate)
Part 3 (Install SSO Service SSL Certificate)
Part 4 (Install Inventory Service)
Part 5 (Install Inventory Service SSL Certificate)
Part 6 (Create vCenter and VUM Databases)
Part 7 (Install vCenter Server)
Part 8 (Install Web Client)
Part 9 (Optional SSO Configuration)
Part 10 (Create VUM DSN)
Part 11 (Install VUM)
Part 12 (VUM SSL Configuration)
Part 13 (VUM Configuration)
Part 14 (Web Client and Log Browser SSL)
Part 15 (ESXi Host SSL Certificate)