We’re often asked about best practices when moving to a virtualized environment with VMcom backup and recovery appliance. We’ve put together a three-part guide which boils everything down to make it easier.
For this blog series, we will assume you have one or more physical or virtual servers and would like to turn them into a fully-featured VMware vSphere platform. It is a three-stage process. The first stage involves installing VMware ESXi Hypervisor on your servers.
Stage 1: Hypervisor
Estimated time to complete: 90 minutes
1. Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)
Hypervisor is the key part of any virtualized infrastructure. It is a special operating system that allows you to create and manage multiple virtual machines on a single physical server.
Visit https://www.vmware.com/go/get-free-esxi and download the hypervisor image in ISO format. If you don’t have a VMware account yet, you can create one on this page.
Most server manufacturers (vendors) offer customized ESXi images with all the required drivers already pre-installed and tested. It is highly recommended to use vendor images as it saves a lot of hassle after the installation. It is similar to a fresh installation of Microsoft Windows on a new laptop. Typically, you have to install a few drivers before any non-standard hardware starts working. Save yourself time, and download a vendor-specific image if they offer one.
The current Dell image is here https://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER05249317M/1/VMware-VMvisor-Installer-6.7.0-10176752.x86_64-DellEMC_Customized-A06.iso
The current HP image is here
2. Boot Your Server from a Downloaded ISO Image
Server vendors typically let you connect to your server remotely and boot from an ISO using a management card (Dell iDRAC/HP iLo).
Alternatively, if you have physical access to the server, you can create a bootable flash drive from the ISO image. For tasks like this, we highly recommend using the free tool Easy2Boot (http://www.easy2boot.com/).
3. Install the VMware ESXi Hypervisor
Once the server boots from the downloaded image, a VMware installer should start automatically.
The installation process is fairly straightforward. First, select the hard drive on which you want to install the ESXi.
Then set up a root password and remember it! You will need it in later steps.
Confirm the installation by pressing F11. This will re-partition the selected hard drive for ESXi (destroying all data on the drive) and initiate the installation process.
Wait for the installation process to finish.
As advised, remove the installation media (unmount the ISO image), and reboot the server so that it boots from the hard drive on which you’ve installed the ESXi hypervisor.
The ESXi boot screen looks very similar to the installer boot screen, so don’t be confused 🙂 Now, it should be the actual hypervisor booting up.
4. Set Up Networking
After the boot process has finished, press F2 in the console and log in using the root password created in the previous step.
Select Configure Management Networkand set up your networking. By default, ESXi will try to obtain network settings using DHCP. It is ok to use DHCP but make sure the IP address does not change in time, i.e., make it persistent.
Setting up a DNS hostname is not mandatory but highly recommended. For this example, I’m going to skip this step. If you don’t set a DNS hostname, make a note of the IP address, you are going to need it later! In my case, the IP is 10.1.0.186.
Wrap up by clicking Test Management Networkand verifying your settings.
If you have more than one server, repeat steps 3 and 4 for all remaining hosts.
Congratulations, you’ve finished stage 1 of 3 and it was easy, right? We will give you some time to add anymore servers and get comfortable with it. You can visit our blog page for stage 2 of 3 where you will learn how to set up vCenter for centralised management. If it isn’t posted, no worries, it will be out within 48 hours of this posting.