At this stage, I am not to be bothered with multiple ways of installing ESXi since this is only to be the main server which will host other virtual ESXi Virtual Machines – hence the importance of having a stable server. Below is a diagram of what the end-result is going to be:
INSTALLATION & LICENSING
Before deploying most products nowadays, it is important we understand the licensing model otherwise we could get in trouble down the line. VMware has already done a brilliant job at summarising what features are available under which license.
Please refer to the Licensing Page.
To install ESXi, I have chosen the method I am most familiar with – interactive installation. The installation process was straight forward as expected. However, once installed, I noticed that my built-in (motherboard) NIC was not being seen. After further “googlestigation” 🙂 I found that VMware removed the Realtek drivers from the installation image.
Next I had to find a way of adding the actual drivers – I know this can be done via .VIB packages. Again, Google came to my rescue – I found this excellent website which provided a quick way of sorting this out.
Once the host has been restarted, bingo! All NICs are now showing nicely.
Obviously, the solution here is not one supported by VMware! Do I really care about that? 🙂
FINE TUNING / POST INSTALLATION TASKS
- Apply license (not the case here since I am using evaluation mode, for now)
- Setup DNS and NTP (ntp important since all systems within the vSphere domain ought to be in sync to avoid problems such as authentication which go hand-in-hand with certificates)
- Setup Networking – some properties of the default management vSwitch0 have also been changed to reject MAC address changes and Forged Transmits (best practice!)
- Setup the five data stores:
- Downloaded and deployed VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) and configured SSO & Authentication)
- Installed the web- and windows- clients for management and the Client Integration plug-in (web-client only)
At this stage, I can say I’m ready to start deploying the actual VCAP Lab – adding virtual hosts, adding the vCenter, adding the virtual storage, etc.