Exploring vSphere 6.7-Part-1-Installing and Configuring Esxi

By | 18/04/2018

vSphere 6.7 was announced by VMware just a day before their 20th foundaton day i.e yesterday. Although this release isn’t as feature-packed as the previous release, but still a lot of enhancements are introduced such as:

  • Instant clone API
  • Quick Boot of Esxi 
  • Per-VM EVC
  • VM Hardware version 14 introduced

I have not tested these features yet so I am not writing in detail about these. The best way to learn and test the new features introduced is to deploy stuffs in lab and start playing around and hence the first post of this series is dedicated to installing Esxi host.

This post will be covered in 2 parts where in first part I will demonstrate installation of Esxi host and in second part we will explore the vSphere Client (HTML based) to configure basic stuffs. 

All download links related to vSphere 6.7 can be found here

Although the installation has been pretty much straight forward over the years and nothing is changed as such, but if you are newbie to VMware it wouldn’t hurt to check out the installation steps from below slideshow.

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Configuring Management Network from DCUI (IP/Hostname/DNS etc)

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Exploring the HTML client

Post installing Esxi host, login to HTML client by entering https://Esxi-IP/FQDN/ui and login via root credentials.

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Join CEIP if you wish to.

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And this is where you will land post logging in. You will see a warning about Esxi running in evaluation mode. Lets apply the license real quick here.

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Navigate to Host > Manage > Licensing ta and click on Assign license.

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Enter your license key and click on check license and it should return green. Click on assign license button.

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Configure NTP on Esxi host

Navigate to Host > Manage > System > Time and date and clcik on edit settings.

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Enter your NTP server details and change startup policy to “Start and stop with host” and hit save.

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Start the NTP service from Actions > NTP service > Start

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Start SSH Service

I am big fan of cli and I always keeps ssh enabled on my Esxi host in my lab environment. By default SSh service is in stopped state. To Start SSH or any other service, navigate to Host > Manage > Services and select any service and from Actions tab start the service as shown below.

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Configure Esxi Networking

The very first thing which I want to configure on my Esxi hosts is the networking stuff.

Navigate to Host > Networking > Virtual Switches, you will find vSwitch0 by default here. I am using various portgroups in my lab for separation of duties and I like to run them on their dedicated vSwitch initially and later migrate them to vDS.

To add a new VSS, click on the add standard virtual switch.

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Provide a name for the VSS and select the uplinks which you want to add to this switch and hit Add button.

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Create VMkernel portgroups

Navigate to VMkernel NICs tab and click on “Add VMkernel NIC” to add a new VMkernel portgroup on Esxi host.

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Provide a name for the portgroup and select the vSwitch where this portgroup will be sitting. Optionally define VLAN ID, MTU etc for this portgroup.

Expand IPv4 settings and provide the IP/Netmask details and select the TCP/IP stack for the portgroup and hit create button.

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So to conclude things, I created 2 new VSS and on vSwitch1 I added my vMotion VMkernel portgroup and assigned one uplink to vSwitch1.

On vSwitch2, I created 2 VMkernel portgroups for iSCSI connectivity and assigned 2 uplinks to vSwitch 2. 

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Configure iSCSI Storage

I am using openfiler in my lab for shared storage which is accessed over iSCSI. To configure iSCSI settings on host, navigate to Host > Storage > Adapters and click on “Confiure iSCSI

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Select enabled for the iSCSI adapter and define the Static/Dynamic target. Also if you want to use multipathing with iSCSI, configure the Network port bindings.

In my lab I am discovering my LUN’s via static discovery only.

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Post adding/configuring iSCSI adapter, don’t forget to rescan it. 

Navigate to Devices tab to make sure newly discoverable LUN’s are visible.

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Navigate to Datastores tab. Click on “New datastore”

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Select “Create new VMFS datastore” and hit next.

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Provide a name for the datastore and select the LUN from the list and hit next.

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Select “Use full disk” and VMFS version 6 and hit next.

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On ready to complete page, review your settings and hit finish. 

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You will be presented with a warning that disk will be entrirely wiped out. Click on yes to proceed.

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And there you go. Your newly added datastore is ready to store virtual machines.

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And that’s it for this post. In next post of this series, we will take a look on installing  and configuring VCSA 6.7.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this on social media if it is worth sharing. Be sociable :)