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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

Welcome to VMware ESXi 5.1 screen

Click Download vSphere Client
  • 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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 will install and run only on servers with 64-bit x86 CPUs.
  • 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

Installing VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

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

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

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

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

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.

Configuring VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

The following screen is displayed when VMware ESXi 5.1.0 first boots

  • Loading VMware ESXi

Loading VMware ESXi

  • VMware ESXi 5.1 Startup

VMware ESXi 5.1 Startup

The server is fully booted when it displays the following screen
  • ESXi 5.1.0 fully booted

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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