Yes, you can create a vSAN cluster while deploying vCenter Server at the same time.
As per vSphere 7 -Planning and deployment Guide:
“The vCenter Server Appliance is a preconfigured Linux virtual machine, which is used for running VMware vCenter Server on Linux systems. This feature enables you to configure a vSAN cluster on new ESXi hosts without using vCenter Server.
When you use the vCenter Server Appliance Installer to deploy a vCenter Server Appliance, you can create a single-host vSAN cluster, and host the vCenter Server Appliance on the cluster. During Stage 1 of the deployment, when you select a datastore, click Install on a new vSAN cluster containing the target host. Follow the steps in the Installer wizard to complete the deployment.
The vCenter Server Appliance Installer creates a one-host vSAN cluster, with disks claimed from the host. vCenter Server Appliance is deployed on the vSAN cluster.
After you complete the deployment, you can manage the single-host vSAN cluster with the vCenter Server Appliance. You must complete the configuration of the vSAN cluster.You can deploy a Platform Services Controller and vCenter Server on the same vSAN cluster or on separate clusters.”
- Same as any other vCenter deployment, ensure all the DNS entries are correct, forward and reverse lookup is working fine.
- All necessary ports are open.
Below are the steps to deploy along with vSAN and automatically deploy on vSAN. As mentioned earlier, Once single host vSAN cluster is deployed, follow the due process to add remaining host and configure cluster like any other vSAN cluster.
Mount the ISO
Provide FQDN of ESXi Host on which vCenter will be installed
Provide vCenter VM name
Provide the Datacenter and cluster Name
Make sure you select the disk correctly, you can select the disk and change (capacity/Cache)accordingly
Validate all Configurations
Once Stage Completes , Stage 2 will start. Don’t worry if it get closed. Open https://vcfqdn:5480 and you can start stage 2.
Provide SSO domain name and password for admin.
This will take some time , Bring your Coffee if you are in office. If at home, bring your beer 🙂
And it’s done.