Install the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Without Ephemeral Port Groups

Trying to install VMware vCenter in appliance/VCSA form straight to a new ESXi host? Having a problem where it isn’t listing any networks, and it’s telling you that “Non-ephemeral distributed virtual port groups are not supported” in the little informational bubble next to it?

Thinking this is Chicken & Egg 101, because you can’t have an ephemeral port group without a Distributed vSwitch, and you can’t have a dvSwitch without a vCenter, so how do you install vCenter when you need something that only vCenter can create?

Yeah, me too. Here’s the secret, though: don’t remove the default “VM Network” port group, or if you did, put it back, and restart the installer (or just back up to select the host again).

Ah, that’s better. I’d removed it in favor of adding another port group with the right VLAN and such. I should have just customized it in place.

In other news, it’s apparently been a while since I’ve done a completely bare-metal install! As much as I hate to admit it, in my frustration I actually broke down and called VMware Support about this. My reputation is safe, though, since they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, and I figured it out while they were trying to apply their ponderous & regimented support process to me. Just makes me long for Business Critical Support again. Cost/benefit was wrong for us when we renewed the ELA it was part of but you could ask those folks ANYTHING and have an instant & dead accurate answer, and usually an offer for a WebEx to fix it.