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  • Writer's pictureJJC Systems

Adding ESXi Host to vCenter within a Cluster

Purpose: The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to outline the steps required to add an ESXi host to vCenter within a cluster. This process ensures that the ESXi host is properly integrated into the vCenter environment, allowing for centralized management and control.

Scope: This SOP is applicable to system administrators or individuals responsible for managing virtualized environments using VMware vSphere and vCenter.


1. Access to the vCenter Server with appropriate administrative privileges.

2. An ESXi host deployed and connected to the network.


1. Launch the vSphere Client:

  • Open the vSphere Client application on your workstation.

  • Enter the IP address or hostname of the vCenter Server.

  • Provide your login credentials to authenticate.

2. Navigate to the Cluster:

  • In the vSphere Client, browse and select the cluster where you want to add the ESXi


  • Select the "Hosts and Clusters" view if not already selected.

3. Add an ESXi Host:

  • Right-click on the cluster and select "Add Host" from the context menu.

  • The Add Host wizard will appear.

4. Specify the ESXi Host details:

  • In the Add Host wizard, enter the IP address or hostname of the ESXi host you want to add.

  • Provide the appropriate credentials to authenticate and establish a connection.

  • Click "Next" to proceed.

5. Review and confirm the SSL fingerprint:

  • The SSL fingerprint of the ESXi host will be displayed.

  • Verify the fingerprint to ensure you are connecting to the correct host.

  • Click "Yes" to confirm and proceed.

6. Customize Hardware Settings:

  • In the Customize Hardware window, configure the hardware settings as per your


  • Modify settings such as hostname, management network, DNS configuration, etc.

  • Click "Next" to continue.

7. Assign the ESXi License:

  • Select the appropriate license option for the ESXi host.

  • Choose either "Assign a new license key to this host" or "Use an existing license key".

  • If assigning a new license, enter the license key provided by VMware.

  • Click "Next" to proceed.

8. Configure Lockdown Mode (optional):

  • If desired, select the appropriate lockdown mode for the ESXi host.

  • Lockdown mode restricts direct host operations and enforces management through


  • Click "Next" to continue.

9. Review the Summary:

  • Review the summary of the configuration settings for the ESXi host.

  • Verify that the information is accurate and reflects your intended configuration.

  • Click "Finish" to start the process.

10. Monitor the Progress:

  • The vCenter Server will initiate the process of adding the ESXi host.

  • Monitor the progress and wait for the task to complete.

11. Verify Successful Addition:

  • Once the task completes successfully, the ESXi host will appear under the cluster in the vSphere Client.

  • Validate the host's connectivity, status, and resource allocation in vCenter.

12. Perform Post-Configuration Tasks:

  • After adding the ESXi host, you may need to configure additional settings such as

networking, storage, and security based on your environment's requirements.

13. Repeat as Needed:

  • Repeat this procedure for each additional ESXi host you want to add to the vCenter

within the cluster.

Conclusion: By following this SOP, you can successfully add an ESXi host to vCenter within a cluster. This integration enables centralized management and control of the host, allowing for efficient administration of virtualized environments.

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