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Virtualization Part 4: VMWare ESXi 5 Update 1: Part 1

Switching away from the desktop here for a little bit I wanted to go over another VMware product, VMware ESXi Version 5 Update 1. How does this differ from all the other virtualization products out there? It’s what’s called a bare metal hypervisor, or a stripped down OS and another virtualization layer that is dedicated to virtualization. In simpler terms, it is its own operating system to boot the computer from and provide virtualization from there. It’s called bare metal because it does not sit on top of another OS like VMware Player or VirtualBox does.

ESXi 5 is free from VMware, with a couple of limitations, check our VMware’s site for those limitations.

Let’s take a look at the install. This part of this series will cover just the ESXi install and basic configuration, part 2 will cover actually using the product.

For this section I am using proper server hardware.

One HP BL460g7 blade server on an HP c7000 chassis

1. 2 Intel Xeon L5640 CPU @ 2.27 GHz (Two six-core cpu’s)

2. 36 GB RAM

3. 360GB local disk space

4. Two Network Adapters at 1 GB speed

We are connecting to the server using HP Virtual Connect with is shown in all the screen captures.

Mount your ISO under the Virtual Drives on the top menu and power on your server.

Press F11 to open the boot menu and select Option 1 for CD/DVD booting

The blade will boot to the following screen, use the arrow keys to select which OS to boot from, or you can just sit back and watch it select the ESXi installer

Booting to the Installer

More initialization

Finally at the Installer Welcome Screen.

Press Enter

Accept License and Continue, Press F11

Installer does a hardware scan.

Select the volume that you are doing to install ESXi on. In this case there is only one, 273.40 GB (two 172 GB disks in a RAID 1)

Gathering further information

Select Keyboard layout, US is Default and is preselected

Enter your root password and press ENTER

Gathering further information

Confirmation of Install, Press F11to Install


Further install…

Installation Complete, Press Enterto reboot

Server booting into ESXi

Boot complete. Press F2 to Customize System/View Logs

Enter root password

Here we see all the configuration options we have for this server:

1. Configure Password: Change your root password

2. Configure Lockdown Mode: Locks down server so it can only be accessed from a vCenter Client

3. Configure Management Network: Configures management network of ESXi server, separate from networking available to the Guest VM’s

a. Configure the default network for the management of ESXi

b. Configure what VLAN the management network lives on

c. IP Configuration (IPv4)

d. IPv6 configuration

e. DNS Configuration

f. Sets DNS Servers and system hostname

g. Custom DNS Suffixes

4. Restart Management Network: Resets the IP stack for the management network

5. Test Management Network: Test management network

6. Restore Network Settings: Restores network settings from a backup or to default

7. Restore Standard Switch: Resets the default network switch in VMware

8. Configure Keyboard: Choose keyboard location and layout

9. Troubleshooting Options: Section allows you to enable:

a. ESXi Shell: Console on ESXi server

b. Enable SSH: for Remote SSH, SCP connectivity to server

c. Modify ESXi Shell Timeout: Sets timeout for inactivity in any shell

d. Restart Management Agents

10. View System Logs

11. View Support Information

12. Reset System Configuration: Resets ESXi to software defaults, you will NOT lose any VM’s created on the system, it’s a good idea to do when your moving from versions or upgrading to vSphere

That pretty much covers the ESXi installation. Take note of the IP address you assigned the server, turn on SSH and ESXi Shell and you pretty much don’t have to look at the server console again, the rest is covered through the vSphere Client, our next chapter.

Thanks for reading

#Virtualization #VMWare

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