Step 3. Installing VMware ESXi Hypervisors
So far, we have set up our management server ready to maintain our VMware based virtualization platform, but we are missing an equally important aspect. We need physical hosts to contribute the actual hardware resources for us to use for our virtualized infrastructure. This next section will walk you through installing VMware ESXi onto bare metal servers ready to be joined to your management server.
Take your VMware ESXi CD that you prepared earlier and from a physical server, boot from the CD.
You will see the below screen when you start the installation.
Once the CD has finished booting, you will be presented with the following welcome screen. Press “Enter” to continue to the next step
Again, you will be prompted with another EULA. Please read it carefully. If you agree, press F11
Next you will be asked which disk you would like to install ESXi to. This should be your first bootable hard drive in your server. Be aware that if you are using Fibre Channel storage or hardware iSCSI HBA’s, your LUN’s will be visible here if you have already present storage. Select your disk, and press “Enter” to continue.
**** WARNING: VMware NO LONGER give you the ability to configure custom partioning within ESXi. Any storage that is found on the system WILL BE ERASED. I HIGHLY recommend disconnecting your FC or iSCSI storage prior to proceeding. Go the extra mile, physically unplug your connections. That way nothing can go wrong ****
Next, select the keyboard layout you wish to use on the installation. Press “Enter” to continue.
Now you will need to set the root password for the ESXi installation. Make sure you remember the password. You will need this to connect it to your vSphere installation.
Now the installer will take all your information, and commence the installation. Press F11 to proceed.
Once the installation has finished, Press “Enter” to reboot.
You can now remove your ESXi Installation CD and let the server reboot.
You will notice that the boot up looks identical to the CD installation, but you’ll also notice that its much faster. So for those of you who still have your ESXi CD in the drive, you’ll be able to tell the difference 😉
Once the system has booted, you will be presented with the following splash screen. It will show any IP address that it has gained from DHCP and give information about your physical server at the top.
Press F2 to configure the system. You will prompted for the root password when doing so.
We don’t need to do much in terms of configuration as most will be done via the vSphere server. We do need to set a hostname and management IP address though.
From the main menu, use the arrows to navigate and select “Configure Management Network” and press Enter.
Select IP Configuration, and enter your IP address for the hypervisor in question. Subnet Mask and Default Gateway.
Press Enter to save settings
Next select DNS Configuration and enter your preferred DNS Server(s) and give your system a static hostname if you wish.
Press Enter to save settings
Now that you have configured your networking, you will now need to confirm the settings. This basically saves to the relevant configuration files which make the settings persistent across reboots.
If you press the Esc button, to go back to the main menu, you will be prompted to commit the changes. Press Y to agree to commit the changes.
This will also restart the necessary services in the background to reflect the changes.
Thats it for configuring the physical hosts. The rest is done via the vSphere console. You should repeat this process for all hypervisors you wish to configure. Be aware, that next we will be configuring a two node HA, DRS cluster which must have at least 2 nodes to be created.