• Getting Started with VMWare ESXi 5.1 (Part 2)

    Posted on December 1, 2012 by in Latest News, Tutorials

    Right then, straight in with Part 2 of getting started with VMWare ESXi 5.1 and covering off the remaining items from below:

    • Attaching additional storage (SAN)
    • Creating additional Vswitch for your backend traffic
    • Installing VMWare VCenter (to manage your VMWare environment)
    • Configuring VCenter

    The first two bullet points are interlinked. By this I mean if you are going to attach additional storage like a SAN, then you will most likely ALSO split this traffic in to a separate VLAN.

    As I’ve already covered attaching storage to ESXi (See previous blog post here: http://www.michaelriccioni.com/how-to-configure-openfiler-v2-99-iscsi-storage-with-vmware-esxi-4-1/ )

    I’m not going to cover this again, but I will go over adding additional “Vswitches” and it’s from this you would then (when following the guide above) select the VLAN you are using etc..

    Click on to the configuration tab, and select Networking. You will notice a standard Switch: VSwitch0 listed:

    As a brief note, everything on the right is VIRTUAL, everything on the right is PHYSICAL, and the grey box in the middle is the Virtual Switch.

    You can see in the example above the first on board NIC of the host (vmnic0) is in the VM Network which is created by default, and at the moment we have 6 virtual machines created.

    If you have chosen to have your storage traffic separate to the production traffic then this is where we need to add a new VSwitch.

    Click “Add Networking” and select VMKernel

    We will now select vmnic1 which is the second NIC on this host

    Label the network as you wish, and also select the VLAN you require

    Enter in the relevant IP information for the NIC

    Once finished you will now see we have a separate Vswitch on a separate VLAN, which is assigned just to VMNIC1. IF you were following the guide to adding attached storage, when attaching the storage it is this NIC you would select as oppose to the production nic.

    Finally, before we start with the installation of vCenter Server, one thing we should do first is to add a manual DNS entry for the ESXi host.

    Navigate to the DNS console on your DC (or whichever server is your primary DNS server)

    Right click on your AD zone and select New Host (AAA/AAAA)

    Enter the required information. In this case it’s MRESXI01 and IP:

    And we’ve now successfully added a static DNS record for this ESXi host

    It’s important to do this especially if it’s a new install as the HOST will NOT have registered itself in DNS yet, so when you try to run the installation (below) it will not be able to resolve the name correctly…

    Now we have this covered off, we can begin installing VCenter Server. When the ISO loads you will be presented with the following screen:

    Option 1 is a sort of “does it all” package. But I’m not going with that, instead I’m going to go down to Vcenter Server

    Here you will see before you can jump straight in there are a few pre-requisites you need to install (depending on your OS these may/may not already be installed). But from a VMWare side of things I now need to install: Vcenter Single Sign on and Inventory Service.

    Let’s start then…click on to vCenter Single Sign On, and it’s the standard (next, next, finish) layout as shown below:

    Once the installation is complete, move on to installing the Inventory Service (again very straight forward installation).

    Now we’ve covered off the pre-requisites we can install vCenter Server, again like the above it’s a fairly simple install. Just change the fields to meet your requirements.

    Finally we need to install the Vsphere Client (which we installed in Part 1) but this time I’m installing it on to my Vcenter Server. Select the option from the menu and install.

    The difference now however (now we’ve got all the above installed). Is rather than entering the ESXi Hosts IP Address, you can simply use the FQDN of the Vcenter Server followed by the port you specified (in this case 443):

    Click connect (to logon with domain credentials) (note: no longer using your root logon).

    Ignore the certificate warning again, and now you will see a familiar screen again (like in Part 1) but this time it’s slightly different.

    At the moment we can’t manage any VM’s or the HOST automatically, we have to first create a new datacentre and then add the ESXi Host to the Datacentre so let’s start by right clicking and selecting new Datacentre, and name the new datacentre

    Now right click and select “Add Host”

    Enter in the details of the ESXi Host and the credentials used to access the host (in this case the root user as we’ve not configured any others)

    it will ask you to confirm this is the correct host, a quick check on the ESXi host itself shows that yes both the thumbprints match, so click YES.

    It will then give you a brief host summary, and the rest of the screens you can click Next to until you get to the ready to complete screen where you click finish.

    Once it has added this host in to your new datacentre, you are ready to go:

    That’s it! We’ve finally go there. But let’s be honest it really wasn’t that hard was it!?

    The benefits of using Vcenter Server, over the Vsphere client (connecting directly to the host) are mainly if you are going to be running a HA (High availability) setup, or it enables you to do things like create templates, clone existing virtual machines as templates (which all help save time).

    For example if you have a pre-built 2008 Server saved as a template, you can simply create a new Virtual Machine from the template and skip having to sit through watching it all install.

    Obviously there are many other benefits, but for the purpose of this tutorial those are the main points, and it’s just proof that VMWare setups shouldn’t be something to be scared of!

    Thanks for reading.

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