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How to Install VMware vCenter Chargeback and Data Collectors- Step by Step

So I have installed vCenter Chargeback before, but i remember the installation being a little tricky. I tried doing a quick google search to see if there were any good detailed step by steps out there and nothing really turned up (or their blog doesn't have good SEO). So let's get going


1. Make sure your Windows VM is set with a static IP address.


2. Create a database. Oracle and SQL can be used. I'm going with SQL. Pretty Simple to do and no advanced options to change.




3. Create a new database user. I'm configuring with local SQL authentication because it's much easier. If you want to rely on Windows Authentication you must ensure that the Windows user has the "Log on as a service" permission. If this permission is not set on the user, the installation will fail. Also, the installer must be run in the context of this Windows user.


Go to the user mapping tab and make sure it's set as the db_owner for our new database.


Go back to the database, go to permissions, and make sure our newly created login has the following permissions checked:

  • Alter any schema
  • References
  • Insert
  • Select
  • Delete
  • Update
  • Execute
  • Alter any dataspace
  • Create table
  • Create view
  • Create procedure
  • Create function

(or if you select all of them this portion doesn't matter but it's a potential security risk)


(NOTE) In my case, I had to start the SQL Server Browser service on my database server. This is disabled by default. According to the installation checklist :Ensure that the SQL Server Browser service is running if you are using a database instance name and dynamic database instance port to connect to the vCenter Chargeback Manager database.


4. Verify NTP is working properly within Active Directory


5. Install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86). I know, it's old school but necessary.


6. If you're Windows Firewall is enabled make sure you allow the following services:

HTTP (80)

HTTPS (443)

Load Balancer (if you have a load balancer setup you define the ports)


7. Ensure the windows user installing chargeback has the Log On As A Service right. To Do this, Navigate to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Local Security Policy


Drill Down to Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment -> Log On As A Service. Right Click and Select Properties.


Add the Domain User that will be installing this and running it as a service. This is also where you would add the domain user responsible for connecting to the SQL server with AD Authentication.


8. Download the vCenter Chargeback zip file to your desktop and unzip it.


9. Double Click vCenter-CB to get started. (taken from the install guide) When you install vCenter Chargeback Manager, you can choose to install the load balancer, vCenter Chargeback Manager server, and data collectors on the same or different machines. If you choose to install the load balancer and the vCenter Chargeback Manager server on different machines, then you must first install the load balancer and then the vCenter Chargeback Manager server. You can first install the load balancer on the DMZ network and then install vCenter Chargeback Manager and the data collectors in the internal network. The vCenter Chargeback Manager database also resides on the internal network.

When you install the load balancer, the relevant data is stored in the vCenter Chargeback Manager database. When you run the installer on a different machine and provide the same database details, the installer provides you with an option to connect to the existing load balancer or install a new load balancer.


Click Next


10. Accept the EULA and Click Next


11. Change the Installation Directory if necessary. Click Next


12. Fill out the database connection fields. Enter the database URL or DNS name of your SQL server. I appended the instance name MSSQLSERVER (SQL Server default) onto mine. Enter the Database Name and the authentication method. Click on Test Connection to see if it was successful. Click Next


13. You will be prompted with "Databse does not support partition". This is OK. Click Continue


14. Accept the defaults for the Load Balancer or change the email address if necessary.


15. Click the button to Install vCenter Chargeback. Give it an instance name. Click Next


16. assign a local admin account password. click Next.


17. Next we are going to install the collectors for vCenter, vCloud, and vShield data collectors. Click next


18. It will first ask for the vCloud Director components. enter the DNS name for the vCloud host and an administrative username for the vCloud side.


19. Click install.


20. Let the installer go


21. Then you will see a prompt to add and configure the collectors. We will do that in the UI.


22. Now the installer has completed. Take note of the IP Address for Chargeback UI. Click Done


23. A pop-up comes up to generate SSL Certificates. Let's create our own.


24. (skipping ahead. the original creation failed. If yours fails as well go to Start -> Programs -> VMware - VMware vCenter Chargeback -> vCenter Chargeback Manger Tools -> General SSL Certificate

Enter Passphrasses 3 or more times and then fill out the form to complete generating a SSL cert.


Then you will see the SSL success message



25. Navigate to the UI for chargeback https://IP_or_DNS/cbmui. Enter the license key and the local username and password we supplied earlier


26. Login with the local user account


27. Let configure some basic settings. First Go to Settings tab -> General. If you have a SMTP server, add in Email Server settings.I don't have one so I'm leaving it blank.


28.Now lets go to the LDAP Server settings for Chargeback in the Settings tab. Click Add.  UPN is preferred for the username.


29. Add an LDAP user by going to Users & Roles tab -> Click on Create. I'm going to add the Domain Admins as administrators for Chargeback. If you want to assign a custom role, leave the default box checked and change it after it has been configured.


Now you can logout and log back in with LDAP. For the LDAP code use the "short name" that was configured during the LDAP addition. like G3FX-AD2 in my case.


30. Now it's time to add a vCenter Server. Before we do so make sure the time is based on NTP for everything. If you want to go secure, create a "Read-Only" role account within vCenter to be used for collecting Chargeback statistics. Click on Add.


31. We have already configured the Data Collector for vCloud Director and vShield Manager by default during the installation. vCloud 5.1 uses the API, while if you are using 1.5 or below you will need to specify database user names and passwords. The last piece of this is that you need to go to the vShield Manager tab, and enter the password used by the local admin account to begin collecting those statistics.


That's all. now it's time to start configuring costs and reporting!

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