Setting up VMware ESXi 4

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1. Following on from the “installing ESXi 4” tutorial, we’ll now dive into the initial setup of VMware ESXi 4. Once ESXi 4 has finished booting you should arrive at a screen similar to the one below.

2. Press and you will enter into the System Customization menu. First up on the list is the option to configure the root password. Press

3. Type in a new password, retype the same password in the Confirm Password field and then press

4. Configure Lockdown Mode enables us to completely lockdown the root user from gaining access to the console remotely. As we want to access the console remotely using root we will not enable this. Though we do want to configure the management network by selecting it in the menu and pressing

5. Select Network Adapters and press

6. If your host has multiple network cables already connected to your switch, it may be a little hard to determine which adapter you would like to configure the management IP on.

7. The best way to select the correct Network adapter, is to disconnect all NICS from the switch except the one you wish to configure the management IP on. Select the connected Network Adapter by pressing and then .

8. In this VLAN menu we are able to configure the management network to be on a specific VLAN. Press

9. However unless you’ve set up your switch port for VLAN tagging or trunking, I would leave this option and continue onto IP Configuration. Press

10. Selecting the IP Configuration menu enables us to configure the management network for DHCP or static IP. We can see what the current config is in the right hand side window. Press

11. Move the highlighted bar down to “Set static IP address and network configuration” and press to select.

12. Use the down arrow and fill in the IP Address, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway for this adapter. Make sure that this system is able to ping the Default Gateway before applying the settings later on in this demo. Press

13. We won’t be using IPv6 in this demo so we’ll move right on to DNS configuration.

14. It’s important in an ESX environment to have DNS and name resolution working correctly. Especially later on when we introduce vCenter server and clustering. Press on the DNS configuration.

15. In this step we configure the Primary and Secondary/Alternate DNS servers. We also give this ESXi host a name. I’ve given this host name vmcluster2.vmlab.local Once you are done press to accept the changes.

Note: I have a Windows 2008 Domain Controller with DNS running vmlab.local

16. We are not setting up custom DNS suffixes in this lab so we’ll be skipping this option. Basically if the ESXi host tries to resolve a non qualified name (i.e. server or vmcluster2) it will append the DNS suffixes that you define here to the end of the name until the name resolves, or it has reached the end of the suffix list. Press

17. A dialgoue box appears asking us to confirm our changes. Press to go ahead and commit the settings or to go back and make changes. Once you commit the changes the management network is restarted.

18. You can manually Restart the Management network using the following menu. You can do this if you have a problem connecting to the ESXi management interface or if you have the management interface on DHCP, restarting the Network will renew the lease.

19. Entering in the “Restart Management Network” gives you the option to press and restart the management network, or to exit.

Note: You may lose brief connectivity while the network is restarting.

20. A successful restart will produce the following window. Press

21. You may also wish to perform a Management network test. This test will ping the DNS servers you setup earlier, the default gateway and try to resolve the hostname of the ESXi host. Press

22. A window pops up show you what ip addresses the test will try and ping along with the hostname that it will try to resolve. Press

23. When the test has completed you will see a similiar window to the one below, with an OK next to each successfull test. Press

24. In high security scenarios you may wish to disable the management network so that no remote users are able to connect to the host. The only way to connect to the host will be through console.

Note:If you would like to connect this host to vCenter, you must have the management network enabled.

25. Configure a different keyboard layout here. I stick with the default layout that was installed during ESXi.

26. The “View Support Information” menu provides some basic support information on the right hand side, such as Serial Number, License Serial Number, SSL Thumbprint, etc

27. The System Logs menu provides 3 options

28. Press <1> for Messages, shows the following logs.

29. We are able to Restart the inbuilt management agents here. For example if vCenter is managing this ESXi host and the host loses connectivity, by restarting the management agent, the host will attempt to reconnect back into vCenter. Press to restart.

30. Confirmation dialogue box pops up. Press to confirm the restart.

31. The agents have successfully been restarted. Press Enter

32. If you would like to reset your entire config back to factory defaults, this is the place to do it. However we don’t wish to do that at this time, so we’ll move right ahead.

33. A custom extension can be a vmkernel module or a 3rd party monitoring tool that sits within ESXi. Once there installed, you can remove the from this menu. Currently I don’t have any customer extensions installed. Press to Log Out of the console.

34. Now that you’ve logged out, you can see the static ip address we set earlier has been applied and that to manage this host we’ll need to browse to the hosts website. In the case below I will browse to http://192.168.1.50

35. Here I have gone over to my Windows 2008 domain controller, opened Internet Explorer and typed in http://192.168.1.50 There is a certificate error that pops up and can be safely ignored as we don’t have the ESXi’s root certificate installed on the server. Click Ok.

36. Here is the second warning about the digital certificate. Click Continue to this website (not recommended)

37. The last digital certificate error before we can actually arrive at the hosts website. Click Ok.

38. Finally we arrive at the webpage for the ESXi host. Here we can download the vSphere client, Domain vCenter server, check out documentation, Download remote command line, browse datastores and browse object managed by this host.

Disclaimer:
All the tutorials included on this site are performed in a lab environment to simulate a real world production scenario. As everything is done to provide the most accurate steps to date, we take no responsibility if you implement any of these steps in a production environment.