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How to Add an ESX Server Host to VMM

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

While you are managing a VMware VirtualCenter in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 or Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, you can add new ESX Server hosts to the VirtualCenter by using the VMM Administrator Console. The following procedure explains how to do that.


This procedure is not needed for ESX Server hosts that VirtualCenter was managing when you added the VirtualCenter server to VMM. When you add a VirtualCenter server to VMM, VMM adds existing hosts automatically with an initial status of OK (Limited) until you provide the required security information for each host. For information about configuring security for those hosts to enable all supported management operations in VMM, see Configuring Security for a Managed VMware Environment in VMM (

To add ESX Server hosts

  1. If you are managing your VMware environment in secure mode, retrieve the following security information from the host computers before you add the hosts:

    1. For all versions of ESX Server, secure mode requires a certificate. If you plan to use the self-signed certificates that VMware created when ESX Server was installed on the hosts, retrieve the certificates from the host computers. This is not required if you are using a certificate from a trusted certification authority.

    2. For hosts that are running VMware ESX Server 3.5 or VMware ESX Server 3.0.2, also retrieve the SSH public key from the host computer. A public key is not required for hosts running ESX Server 3i.

    For instructions for automating the preceding tasks, see Configuring Security for a Managed VMware Environment in VMM (

  2. In any view in the VMM Administrator Console, on the Actions pane, click Add hosts to open the Add Hosts Wizard.

  3. On the Select Host Location page, click VMware ESX Server host, enter the credentials for an account with administrative privileges on the host, and then click Next.

  4. On the Select Host Servers page, do the following:

    1. In the Computer name or IP address box, type the computer name or IP address of an ESX Server host.


      VMM does not support duplicate host names.

    2. In the Virtualization VirtualCenter list, select the VMware VirtualCenter Server you want to add the host to.


      If the specified host is already being managed by VMM under a different VirtualCenter server, it will be moved from its current VirtualCenter server and added to the newly specified VirtualCenter Server.

    3. In the Host group list, select a host group for the host you want to add.


      A VMware ESX Server host can be added only to the VirtualCenter Server’s root host group or one of its children.

    4. Depending on whether you are managing your VMware environment in secure mode, do one of the following:

      • If secure mode is not turned on, click Add Host.

      • If secure mode is turned on, and you did not retrieve the certificate and public key manually, click Retrieve to have VMM connect to the host computer and retrieve the certificate and, if required, the SSH public key. For ESX Server 3i, the certificate is imported, but not a public key. Visually verify the authenticity of the items. Then select the Accept both the certificate and public key for this host check box, or, for a host running ESX Server 3i, select the Accept the certificate check box. Then click Add Host.

      For more information about secure mode, see Configuring Security for a Managed VMware Environment in VMM (

    5. After selecting all hosts you want to add, click Next.

  5. On the Summary page, click Add Hosts.

See Also


How to Import VMware Templates
Managing a VMware Infrastructure in VMM

Other Resources

How to Add an ESX Server Host Using a Script