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Posts Tagged ‘ESXi 5.1’

Apple OS X Mavericks (OSX 10.9) Developer Preview 3 on VMware vSphere 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Yesterday, I managed to get Apple OS X Mavericks (OSX 10.9) Developer Preview 3 installed and working on VMware vSphere 5.1 (ESXi 5.1).

osx109onvmwareesxi1osx109onvmwareesxi2

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HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
In my previous VMware Articles, most featured Intermediate VMware Topics. My next series of articles will concentrate on topics for the VMware Novice; this is the fifth article in this series.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series,  they are listed here for your convenience.

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Upload an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I’ll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware’s FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

In this article we will show you HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) so you can remotely connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) server remotely via SSH (PuTTY).

1

Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) or vSphere vCenter Server using the vSphere Client

Please refer to my Andysworld! article on HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

  • vSphere-Client-Connected-to-ESXi

vSphere-Client-Connected-to-ESXi

Once connected to the “default hypervisor home page”, click the Inventory icon, to see the server’s Inventory.
  • Click Configuration Tab

Click Configuration Tab

Click the Configuration Tab.
  • Click Security Profile

Click Security Profile

Click Security Profile, followed by Properties
  • Service Properties

Service Properties

The Security Service Properties will be displayed.

SSH Options

Click the SSH label followed by Options button, you will notice the daemon service is currently stopped, this is the default.
  • SSH (TSM-SSH) Options - Click Start

SSH (TSM-SSH) Options - Click Start

The SSH (TSM-SSH) Options will be displayed. Click Start to start the SSH deamon. You can change the options here if you wish to Start and stop the SSH daemon service with the host, or Start automatically if any ports are open, and stop when all ports are closed. Check with your Security IT Policy which is best for you. Opening SSH ports long term can be considered a security risk.
  • SSH Daemon Running

SSH Daemon Running

You will notice the SSH Daemon Status has changed to Running
. Click OK to continue, and Click OK to return to Inventory.

Confirm using PuTTY, you can connect to the server successfully.

In vSphere 4 1, 5.0 and 5.1, when you have enabled Remote SSH management of hosts from the vSphere Client, you may notice that that a Configuration Issues warning yellow box appears on the Summary page of the host ESXi server.

  • Configuration Issues, SSH and ESXi shell enabled Configuration Issues, SSH and ESXi shell enabled

    Configuration Issues, SSH and ESXi shell enabled  Configuration Issues, SSH and ESXi shell enabled

This Configuration Issues warning yellow box only appears when Remote SSH and/or ESXi shell has been enabled.

Please refer to my Andysworld! Article on HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alert displayed in Summary status for ESXi 4.1 U2 or ESXi 5.0 after enabling SSH or ESXi Shell

Congratulations, you have successfully Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

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HOW TO: Upload an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
In my previous VMware Articles, most featured Intermediate VMware Topics. My next series of articles will concentrate on topics for the VMware Novice; this is the fourth article in this series.If you would like to read the other articles in this series,  they are listed here for your convenience.

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I’ll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware’s FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

In this article we will show you HOW TO: Upload an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct. There are other third party tools, that can be used to upload ISO image files, these include:-

The above applications, require additional installation and configuration, in this article we will use the VMware vSphere Client.

1

Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) or vSphere vCenter Server using the vSphere Client

Please refer to my EE article on HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

vSphere Client Connected to ESXi 5.1 Server

Once connected to the “default hypervisor home page”, click the Inventory icon, to see the server’s Inventory.
  • Inventory

Inventory

Right Click on the datastore. In this example the datastore name is datastore1. This is the default name given to the datastore on installation, it can be changed. Please refer to Step 4 Conducting a simple task using the VMware vSphere Client in my Andysworld! article  HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

Right Click and select Browse Datastore

Right Click the datastore name ‘datastore1′ and select Browse Datastore.

Datastore Browser window

The Datastore Browser window will be opened, and you can browse the files and folders, that are located on the datastore. If no virtual machines or files are present, this will be empty. To organise your ISO image files, we would recommend you create a folder called isos. Either select the ‘Create A New Folder’ icon, on the ribbon bar, or right-click in the right-hand empty panel, and select New Folder.

Create Folder in datastore

Enter folder name - isos, and Click OK
  • Enter Foldername - isos

Enter Foldername - isos

The isos folder will be shown in the datastore
  • datastore1 with isos folder

datastore1 with isos folder

Select and Double-Click the isos folder to change folders.
  • isos folder

isos folder

2

Uploading the ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to the datastore ‘datastore1′

Please refer to my Andysworld! Article HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Upload files to this datastore

Select the ‘Upload files to this datastoreicon on the ribbon bar.
  • Select Upload Files

Select Upload Files

Select Upload File…
  • Browse to location of the stored iso image file on your computers hard disk

Browse to location of the stored iso image file on your computers hard disk

Browse to location of the stored iso image file on your computers hard disk, in my example, we have stored the iso image file, in c:isos, from our previous EE Article, the filename is Ubuntu 12.10 amd.iso. Click OK to continue and upload the file.
  • Select Yes to the Upload/Downloading Operation Warning

Select Yes to the Upload/Downloading Operation Warning

Select Yes to the Upload/Downloading Operation Warning.
  • Uploading…

Uploading...

The ISO image file, e.g. Ubuntu 12.10 amd.iso will be upload to datastore1 in the folder isos. This can take several minutes depending upon size and speed of connection to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) host server.
  • datastore1 with iso image

datastore1 with iso image

datastore1 with the ISO image uploaded and stored in the folder isos. Click the X in the top right hand corner to Close the Datastore Browser.

3

Confirming the upload of the ISO image file has been transferred successfully using the MD5 checksum signature

To complete the following step SSH must be enabled and running on your VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) host server, if SSH is not running you will receive a connection refused message.

To Enable SSH on your VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) host server, please see my Andysworld! article HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access to a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Connect to the VMware Hypervisor ESXi server via SSH. Using PuTTY a free telnet and SSH client or another SSH client Login and Connect to the VMware Hypervisor ESXi server, using IP address or hostname of the VMware Hypervisor ESXi server, using root username and password credentials. This can also be performed if you have access to the console.

PuTTY SSH terminal session

  • logged in as root to ssh terminal session

    logged in as root to ssh terminal session

You will need to change folder or directories to the location of the iso image file. The VMware VMFS datastores are mapped here /vmfs/volumes. Use the following command to change to the datastore1 datastore and isos folder.
cd /vmfs/volume/<datastore name>/<folder name>
  • change folders

change folders

example :- cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/isos
type cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/isos in the SSH session window.
  • md5sum

md5sum

When you have successfully changed folders to the location of the isos image file which has been uploaded, use the following command to check the MD5 checksum signature.
md5sum <filename>
example md5sum Ubuntu 12.10 amd.iso
  • MD5 Checksum Signature

MD5 Checksum Signature

type md5sum Ubuntu 12.10 amd.iso in the SSH session window. After several minutes, and the time taken, depends on the size of the ISO image file, and speed of host processor and storage, a MD5 checksum signature will be displayed. The number displayed next to the filename - 7ad57cadae955bd04019389d4b

9c1dcb - is the MD5 checksum signature. Compare this number with the original number computed before the ISO image file was uploaded, if they match, the transfer was successful. If they do not match, repeat Step 2 above.Congratulations, you have successfully uploaded an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checked its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

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HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
In my previous VMware Articles, most featured Intermediate VMware Topics. My next series of articles will concentrate on topics for the VMware Novice; this is the third article in this series.

If you would like to read the other articles in this series,  they are listed here for your convenience.

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I’ll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware’s FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

This article will show you how to create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1).

What is an ISO? (Andy’s Laymen Definition)
An ISO is an image or bit copy of a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, the ISO is a file, similar to a compressed archived file, this *.iso file contains the data from a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM. The ISO file is a virtual CD-ROM/DVD-ROM. Using an *.iso file has many advantages, some are listed below:-

  • The original CDROM/DVD-ROM can be stored securely, and is no longer required, after an ISO image has been created.
  • Multiple virtual machines can use the same *.iso concurrently.
  • Computers without a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM reader can use the data stored on the *.iso file.
  • Installing OS (operating systems) or transferring data is faster.
1

Prerequisites

  • An original operating system CD-ROM/DVD-ROM
2

Install ISO Recorder

Download ISO Recorder from http://alexfeinman.co/isorecorder.htm We like to use ISO Recorder, because it is a small lightweight application, which integrates into the shell of your OS (operating system). e.g. you right click the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM reader and the option is there to create an ISO.

There are several versions of ISO Recorder to download, ensure you download the correct version for your OS, and the correct version for your processor, as there are 32-bit and 64-bit versions available.

After you have downloaded the correct version, Double-Click the installer program (*.msi) you have download, we will install the Windows 7 64 bit version, which has the filename ISORecorder31×64.msi

  • Welcome to the ISO Recorder Setup Wizard

Welcome to the ISO Recorder Setup Wizard

At the Welcome to the ISO Recorder Setup Wizard dialogue page, Click Next and continue
  • Select Installation Folder.jpg

Select Installation Folder.jpg

At the Select Installation Folder dialogue page select the defaults, and Click Next to continue.
  • Confirm Installation

Confirm Installation

Confirm installation at the Confirm Installation dialogue page, and Click Next to continue.
  • Installation Complete

Installation Complete

The installer will Complete the software installation, it only takes a few seconds to complete. Click Close to complete the installation.

3

Create an ISO image file

  • My Computer

My Computer

Select My Computer.
  • CD-ROM Inserted

CD-ROM Inserted

Insert an original operating system CD-ROM/DVD-ROM into your optical media device.  In this example, we are using an Ubuntu 12.10 DVD-ROM.
  • Right Click the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM

Right Click the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM

Right-Click the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, and select Create image from CD/DVD.
  • Select Destination for ISO image file

Select Destination for ISO image file

Select a filename and destination folder on your computers hard drive to store the ISO image file and Click Next to continue, this will create an ISO image file.
  • 22 percent complete …

22 percent complete ...

  • 51 percent complete…

51 percent complete...

  • 83 percent complete…

83 percent complete...

The data will be copied from the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, and the ISO image will be created. This can take several minutes to complete.
  • Completed - Finish

Completed - Finish

Select Finish to complete the operation. The ISO image file has been created.

4

Creating a MD5 checksum signature of the ISO image file

We will use the MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utility to create a MD5 checksum signature for our freshly created ISO image file. This is important, so we can compare these signatures, once we have completed the transfer to our VMware host servers, and confirm the ISO image file has not been corrupted in transfer.

  • MD5 SHA-1 Checksum Utility

MD5 SHA-1 Checksum Utility

Double-Click and start the MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utility application. Click browse and select your freshly created ISO image file.
  • MD5

MD5

Shortly after selecting the ISO file, the application will start calculating the MD5 and SHA-1 checksums for the file, this can take a few minutes depending upon the size of the ISO image file, which needs to be read.

The MD5 checksum for my Ubuntu 12.10 amd.iso is:-

MD5 Checksum: 7AD57CADAE955BD04019389D4B9C1DCB
SHA-1 Checksum: 8618058554FFD11E317356EC25885BCB8C1D0B36

Generated by MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utility @ http://raylin.wordpress.com/downloads/md5-sha-1-checksum-utility

Please note the MD5 checksum value for use with the  VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Congratulations you have successfully created your first ISO (*.iso), and created a MD5 checksum signature for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1).

In my next Article in this series, we will show you HOW TO: Upload and Check the MD5 signature of an ISO CD/DVD image to a VMware datastore using the vSphere Client, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

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HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
In my previous VMware Articles, most featured Intermediate VMware Topics. My next series of articles will concentrate on topics for the VMware Novice; this is the second article in this series.

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I’ll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware’s FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

This article will show you how to connect and complete some basic configuration of the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 on a computer. VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 is also known as ESXi 5.1.

If you have missed the first article in the series, it’s here: HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

1

Download Tools to Manage the ESXi Host Server

  • ESXi 5.1 DCUI (console) when Server has completed the Boot process

ESXi 5.1 DCUI (console) when Server has completed the Boot process

When the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.1) server is fully BOOTED and started the above screen is displayed. This screen is called the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI). The majority of the management is performed remotely from another Windows computer using software tools called the VMware vSphere Client. You cannot manage or install virtual machines from the ESXi 5.1 server console; this must be completed remotely from another computer.

You can obtain the VMware vSphere Client software package (VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-786111.exe) from the VMware website, as detailed in the first article of this series:
HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) or you can download the software from the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.1) .

Make a note of the IP Address of the server which is displayed on the console, and using a web browser, browse to the web URL http://192.168.10.128. (This is the IP Address displayed on the console screen; your IP address will be different).

The following screen will be displayed, because VMware’s SSL certificate has been “self-signed” the warning is normal. Click Continue to this website. In this example we are using Internet Explorer 10.

  • Connecting to vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1

Connecting to vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1

After clicking continue, the Welcome to VMware ESXi 5.1 screen will be displayed:

Welcome to VMware ESXi 5.1 screen

Click Download vSphere Client

Click Download vSphere Client

This link used to download the vSphere Client from the ESXi Host server, but has recently been replaced to a VMware Link (http://vsphereclient.vmware.com/vsphereclient/7/8/6/1/1/1/VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-786111.exe), so you can either download direct from VMware, or find the link through your ESXi 5.1 server. This does test that your ESXi 5.1 Host basic networking is working correctly.

For the sake of this article, we are going to download the vSphere Client from VMware, using the web link included on the Welcome to VMware ESXi 5.0 page. At the following prompt click Save.

  • Do you want to run or save VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-786111.exe 347MB from vsphereclient.vmware.com?

Do you want to run or save VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-786111.exe 347MB from vsphereclient.vmware.com?

Depending upon your Internet download speed, this can take between two and 30 minutes, as it is approximately 350MB in size.

2

Installing the VMware vSphere Client

Once the download has been completed click Run. The setup files will be extracted, and the VMware vSphere 5.1 Client InstallShield Wizard will appear.

VMware vSphere 5.1 Client InstallShield Wizard

Click OK to Continue. The following Welcome screen will appear, Click Next to Continue.

Welcome to the installation wizard for VMware vSphere Client 5.1

That is followed by Next to Continue on the End-User Patent Agreement screen
  • End-User Patent Agreement screen

End-User Patent Agreement screen

Select “I agree to the terms of the license agreement” on the VMware End User License Agreement screen and Click Next to Continue.
  • VMware End User License Agreement

VMware End User License Agreement

Select the Destination Folder. We recommend the Default location C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastrucuture\ followed by Next to Continue. (The VMware vSphere Client in this Tutorial is being installed on a 64-bit version of Windows, so this is the reason for the x86 reference. Your location could read C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastrucuture\).
  • Select Destination Folder

Select Destination Folder

Click Install to Continue at the Ready to Install the Program screen

Ready to Install the Program

Click Finish to Complete the installation of the VMware vSphere Client.
  • Installation Completed

Installation Completed

3

Connecting to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 server

Click the VMware vSphere Client icon on your computer Desktop, or click Start > Programs > VMware > VMware vSphere Client icon

VMware vSphere Client icon

Using the VMware vSphere Client, login and connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 server, using the IP address or hostname of the ESXi server, using the root username and password credentials.

In this tutorial the IP address of the ESXi 5.1 server is displayed on the console in Step 1. The IP address is 192.168.10.128. Enter the IP address, and username root, followed by the password. Click Login.

VMware vSphere Client logon.jpg

A Security Warning will appear, stating an untrusted SSL certificate is installed on your server. This is normal, because it’s a VMware “self-signed” certificate and can be replaced. (We will cover this in a later article in the series). Click Ignore and Tick the box to Install.
  • Security Warning

Security Warning

Click OK to acknowledge the VMware Evaluation Notice
  • VMware Evaluation Notice

VMware Evaluation Notice

You are now connected to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.1 Server. Click the Inventory icon, to see the server’s Inventory.

vSphere Client Connected to ESXi 5.1 Server

The following Inventory is displayed. You will notice it states The ESXi host does not have persistent storage. To store virtual machines (often referred to as Guests or VMs, the VMs must be stored and reside on an ESXi host datastore. The VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi server has a compatible filing system called VMFS (similar to Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/2008/2012/7/8, which has its own filing system called NTFS). There are two versions of VMFS: VMFS-3 for earlier versions of vSphere e.g. 3.x and 4.x, and WMFS-5 for vSphere 5.x.

4

Conducting a simple task using the VMware vSphere Client

In this step, we will complete a simple task using the vSphere Client, this task is to Create a new VMFS datastore, so we can store VMs. This is the minimum configuration requirement for your ESXi host.

Click here to create a datastore

Click “Click here to create a datastore…”

At the Add Storage screen select Disk/LUN followed by Next to Continue, personally we feel the dialgoue box should be called Add New Storage e.g. it’s storage which has never been allocated or presented for use with a VMware server.

  • Select Disk/LUN

Select Disk/LUN

At the next screen select the actual Disk or LUN, pay special attention to the sizes shown. The size should match the size of disk, LUN or array size you have created for your VMFS datastore, followed by Next to Continue. In this tutorial we are going to select the 40GB Disk/LUN, the first entry in the list.
  • Select the Disk or LUN

Select the Disk or LUN

At the VMFS file system version select VMFS-5. Only select VMFS-3 if you require mixed-mode support with versions of ESX/ESXi less than 5.0. Click Next to Continue.
  • File System version

File System version

The Current Disk Layout will be shown. If this is a used disk, it could show other partition types. (NTFS, FAT32, Linux, Swap, ext2, ext3) Click Next to Continue. This is a new disk in this tutorial, so A new partition will be created and used.
  • Current Disk Layout

Current Disk Layout

At the next screen enter the name for the datastore (do not use / \ * # ! @ (non-alpha numeric characters); it will accept them, but you will have issues later. The dash and underscore are okay.) followed by Next to Continue

Enter datastore name

There are many different types of naming conventions. We like to use name of the server followed by underscore (_) local for local disk, iscsi for iscsi disk, nfs for nfs storage, fibre for fibre channel, a number to indicate disk or LUN id number, followed by VMFS type, e.g. 3 or 5. For example: esxdev009_local1_vmfs5

Enter datastore name

At the Disk/LUN - Formatting screen, select Maximum available space, and click Next to Continue.
  • Maximum Available Space

Maximum Available Space

Check the Summary screen for the datastore you are about to create and Click Finish to create the datastore.

Datastore Summary

You are now ready to use your ESXi server.

  • Ready - ESXi

Ready - ESXi

Congratulations you have successfully installed the VMware vSphere Client, Connected to your VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 server, and Created your first VMware VMFS-5 datastore ready to store Virtual Machines.

In the next article in the series, we will connect and continue to configure the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1.

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HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Sunday, January 20th, 2013
In my previous VMware Articles, most featured Intermediate VMware Topics, my next series of articles will concentrate on topics for the VMware Novice.

In these series of basic VMware articles, I’ll be showing you the basic skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware’s FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor.

This article will show you how to install and configure the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 on a computer. VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 is also known as ESXi 5.1.

The FREE version of ESXi 5.1 is limited to 32GB per server.

  • ESXi 5.1 requires a host machine with at least two cores.
  • ESXi 5.1 supports only LAHF and SAHF CPU instructions.
  • ESXi 5.1 requires the NX/XD bit to be enabled for the CPU in the BIOS.

A full list of the ESXi 5.1 Hardware Requirements can be found in the VMware ESXi 5.1 Install Guide

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists (HCL), to discover if your computer is certified for use with ESXi 5.1.

If your computer is not listed on the VMware HCL, it may still be possible to install and run VMware ESXi 5.1 on your laptop, desktop, or server. The HCL exists because the server vendor and VMware have certified and tested ESXi 5.1 will function correctly, on the servers listed on the HCL.

Register with VMware.com and Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1

Open the following link in your web browser
https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/evalcenter?p=free-esxi5&lp=default
Click the License and Download Tab

  • VMware Download Center

VMware Download Center

Click Create an Account, to Create an Account and Login to the VMware Download Center. VMware will email you an Activation link which needs to be opened to create the account.

The following page will be displayed when you have successfully logged into the VMware Download Center.

  • VMware Download Center

VMware Download Center

Pay special attention to the FREE License information which is displayed, and record this License Number, this will be required in a later article.

Click the download link for VMware ESXi 5.1 (CD ISO) Installable to download the software required to install ESXi 5.1 and also download the VMware vSphere Client 5.1. The VMware vSphere Client 5.1 software is the client software that allows us to connect and manage the ESXi 5.1 server, this will be required in a later article.

Either use the Download Manager or Manually Download button (which uses your web browser). The CD ISO is only 301MB so should not take too long to download. We have a very slow internet connection, at approx 350 kB/sec, and it takes us approximately 10 minutes to download.

Once the downloads have been completed using your favourite MD5 and SHA1 checksum utility, confirm the downloads have been downloaded correctly, using the published MD5 and SHA1 checksums from the VMware website.  We use the MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utiliy 1.1 from http://raylin.wordpress.com/downloads/md5-sha-1-checksum-utility/.

Many VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 installations fail due to corrupt downloads.

  • MD5 & SHA1 checksum confirmed with published checksums for VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso

MD5 & SHA1 checksum confirmed with published checksums for VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso

  • MD5 & SHA1 checksum confirmed with published checksums for VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-786111.exe

MD5 & SHA1 checksum confirmed with published checksums for VMware-viclient-all-5.1.0-786111.exe

Write (Burn) the VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso downloaded in Step 1, to a blank CDROM, using your favourite CD writing software. We use ISO Recorder (http://alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm). If you are using remote server utilities, e.g. HP iLo or Dell iDRAC,. you can attach the virtual CDROM drive in the server to the VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso ISO, so there is no requirement to write a CDROM.

This is a step which is often missed, ensure the BIOS BOOT order is set to BOOT from the CDROM Device or ATAPI device in the server, otherwise the computer will not BOOT from the CDROM.

Power on the Computer, the computer will BOOT from the CDROM, and the following BOOT screen will be displayed

ESXi 5.1 BOOT from CDROM

The default option is to BOOT ESXi-5.1.0-799733-standard Installer after 10 seconds, hit any key will pause the BOOT process.

VMware ESXi 5.1 Startup

At the Welcome to the VMware ESXi 5.1.0 Installation screen Hit Enter to Continue the installation.
  • Welcome to the VMware ESXi 5.1.0 Installation screen

Welcome to the VMware ESXi 5.1.0 Installation screen

Press F11 (Function Key 11) to Accept the VMware End User License Agreement (EULA)
  • Press F11 (Function Key 11) to Accept the VMware End User License Agreement (EULA)

Press F11 (Function Key 11) to Accept the VMware End User License Agreement (EULA)

The ESXi installer will scan the computer storage controller for available devices to install ESXi.
  • Scanning for available devices

Scanning for available devices

ESXi can be installed on a USB flash drive, SD card attached to the computer, local SATA, local RAID Array, or Fibre Channel or iSCSI LUN. All these are supported options. As the footprint for ESXi is very small only 1GB is required for the ESXi OS installation.

We have written an Article here on How to Backup an ESXi installation on an USB Flash Drive or SD card, for security or redundancy. After you have completed the ESXi 5.1 installation, shutdown the server, remove the USB flash drive or SD card, and duplicate it using our Article.

When prompted select a disk to install ESXi on, in the following example, we have two disks connected to this computer, a single 1GB disk, and a 40GB disk. We are going to use the small disk for the OS. The larger 40GB disk will be used later for the storage of virtual machines.

Select a Disk to Install

When prompted, select the keyboard layout and hit Enter to continue.
  • Please select a keyboard layout

Please select a keyboard layout

When prompted enter a root password, confirm the password and hit Enter to continue
  • Enter a root password

Enter a root password

The following will be displayed
  • Gathering additional system information

Gathering additional system information

When prompted Confirm the Installation on the selected disk and press F11 (Install)
- Function Key 11
All data will be erase, as the disk will be repartitioned.

Confirm Install

The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.
  • The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

  • The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

  • The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

  • The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

  • The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

The Progress Bar will confirm installation progress.

The installation only takes approximately 5-10 minutes, depending upon speed of storage. When the installation has completed the following screen will be displayed.
  • Installation Complete

Installation Complete

Remove the CDROM installation disk before rebooting. Hit Enter to Reboot. After hitting Enter the follow screen will be displayed and the computer will reboot.
  • Rebooting Server

Rebooting Server

ESXi 5.1.0 will operate in evaluation mode for 60 days. This is the same mode as a FULLY LICENSED ESXi 5.0 server. If you wish to evaluate all the bells and whistles that ESXi 5.0 has to offer, do not register your FREE license. for 60 days, this will allow you to evaluate ESXi 5.0 server fully. On day 59/60, Apply your FREE license to continue using the product, or you will not be able to power on any virtual machines.

The following screen is displayed when VMware ESXi 5.1.0 first boots

  • Loading VMware ESXi

Loading VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi 5.1 Startup

The server is fully booted when it displays the following screen

ESXi 5.1.0 fully booted

The default server configuration is to use DHCP, if you do not have a DHCP server issuing IP Addresses on your network you will need to assign an IP Address. We recommend you use a static IP Address for your ESXi Host Server.

Press F2 to Customize System, you will be prompted to enter the root username and password.

  • Customize System > Configure Management Network

Customize System > Configure Management Network

Select Configure Management Network to change Network Parameters.
Select IP Configuration
  • Select IP Configuration

Select IP Configuration

Set the Static IP address and network configuration, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway, it’s important to set the correct Default Gateway, as this will be used later. Hit Enter to confirm and save the configuration.
  • Set static IP address

Set static IP address

Select DNS Configuration, enter the correct DNS information for your network, and enter a hostname for your server. Hit Enter to save the configuration.
  • DNS Configuration

DNS Configuration

Select Custom DNS Suffixes
Enter your DNS suffix (the domain name for your network). Make sure you have created a DNS A Record in your DNS, so that this server can be resolved correctly through forward and reverse lookups.
  • Custom DNS Suffixes

Custom DNS Suffixes

Hit Enter to save your configuration.

Press Escape, the following screen will appear, select Y(es) to apply changes.

  • Apply Changes and Restart Network Management.

Apply Changes and Restart Network Management.

Press Escape to Logout and return to the console screen.

You will notice on the console screen, the server now has a hostname configured, and correct static IP Address.

  • Console Screen

Console Screen

Congratulations you have successfully installed and configured VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1.

In the next article in the series, we will connect and continue to configure the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1.

Part 2 of the Series has now been published here

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

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HOW TO: Tag and Configure a storage device as a Solid State Disk (SSD) in VMware vSphere 5.0 or 5.1 (ESXi 5.0 or ESXi 5.1)

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
In VMware vSphere 5.x (ESXi 5.x) there is a new feature called Host Cache Configuration. This new feature allows the VMware vSphere Administrator to configure the VMware vSphere 5.x (ESXi 5.x) host server to use a cache on a Solid State Disks (SSD) for the virtual machine’s swapfile for better performance, because the SSD has much faster latency than a traditional mechanical disk. This is also known in VMware Administrator circles as Swap to Host Cache or Swap to SSD. Once Host Cache Configuration has been enabled, the virtual machines will be swapping to SSD, but this swapfile is not a true swap file, and the entire virtual machine swap file (.vswp)  is not stored on the SSD.However, not all SSD devices are correctly tagged as SSD. This tutorial shows how to tag a Non-SSD storage device as SSD, if you want to experiment with Host Cache Configuration but do not have a SSD to hand. This is not supported by VMware, tagging a non-SSD as a SSD.

The same procedure can be followed to tag a SSD, correctly, if it’s not recognized by the VMware ESXi server.

With the current fall in prices for consumer SSDs, it can give a real performance boost to a VMware ESXi 5.x server which is short on memory. Consumer SSDs e.g. Kingston SSDNow V+200 Drive Model SVP200S37A/60G are generally cheaper than server memory. We recently purchased this model for £29.99 GBP.

The commands we will be using in this Tutorial, are the esxcli commands, these commands can be executed on the ESXi shell, through the vMA or PowerCLI esxcli remote version. In this tutorial I’ll be logging into the ESXi server, and executing the commands on the ESXi shell.

1. Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) or VMware vSphere vCenter Server

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi server, using IP address or hostname of the ESXi server, using root username and password credentials. If you have a VMware vSphere vCenter server, you could also specify IP address or hostname of the vCenter server.

  • Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi server

Using the VMware vSphere Client, Login and Connect to the ESXi server

2. Check and record the storage device name to be tagged as a SSD

Check there is a VMFS volume already formatted on the storage device, you want to present to the Host ESXi server, as a SSD and record the device name for later in Step 4.

Select Host > Configuration > Storage

storage device to configure as SSD

In the example above, the local storage device mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0 is a local disk, formatted with the datastore name datastore1 as VMFS5. Record the storage device name mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0.

3. Logon to ESXi console (shell) via PuTTY

Using PuTTY a free telnet and SSH client or another SSH client Login and Connect to the VMware Hypervisor ESXi server, using IP address or hostname of the VMware Hypervisor ESXi server, using root username and password credentials.

putty SSH terminal session

  • logged in as root to ssh terminal session

logged in as root to ssh terminal session

4. Create a new SATP rule

At the console or SSH session type the following commands to create a new SATP rule.

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add --satp VMW_SATP_LOCAL --device mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0 --option=enable_ssd

using the device name recorded in Step 2 above. The console will return a new line. To check the rule has been created correctly type the following commands

esxcli storage nmp satp rule list | grep enable_ssd

the following screenshot should be displayed

  • Confirmation of rule creation

Confirmation of rule creation

confirming the creation of the rule.

5. Claim storage device

At the console or SSH session type the following commands

esxcli storage core claiming reclaim -d mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0

using the device name recorded in Step 2 above.

I have seen the following error messages when trying to claim devices, either restart the server or use the “unclaim” device command.

  • Unable to unclaim path vmhba1:C0:T0:L0 on device mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0. Some paths may be left in an unclaimed state. You will need to claim them manually using the appropriate commands or wait for peri

Unable to unclaim path vmhba1:C0:T0:L0 on device mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0. Some paths may be left in an unclaimed state. You will need to claim them manually using the appropriate commands or wait for peri

you can unclaim the device by specifying the device name.

esxcli storage core claiming unclaim --type device --device device_name

6. Reload the claim rules

I usually reload the claim rules and run the rules using the following commands:

esxcli storage core claimrule load
esxcli storage core claimrule run

7. Confirm device is Tagged as SSD

Use the following command at the console, to check if the device has successfully been tagged as a SSD

esxcli storage core device list --device=mpx.vmhba1:C0:T0:L0

The following output will be displayed for the device.

  • local device tagged as SSD

local device tagged as SSD

Check the output states “Is SSD: true”

You have successfully configured and tagged a local device as a SSD. If you now repeat Step 2 above, you will see the device now states SSD.

storage device to configure or tagged as SSD

In my next Article, I show you how to configure Host Cache Configuration.

Further reading can be found here in the VMware
vSphere 5 Documentation Center :- Tag Devices as SSD

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