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If you would like to read my Basic VMware articles, they are listed at the end of this article for your convenience.
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 FREEVMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).
In this article we will show you HOW TO: Create your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server using the VMware Host Client. This procedure can be followed to install ANY Microsoft Windows Virtual Machines on earlier versions of VMware vSphere provided they are supported by the version of VMware vSphere. You may want to consult the VMware Hardware Comparability Lists or HCL, see here.
1. Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) or vSphere vCenter Server using the VMware Host or vSphere Web Client
Please note and check the VMware Hardware Comparability Lists (HCL) here, to check your Operating System is compatible with VMware vSphere. Many operating systems fail to install because the operating system is not supported by the version of VMware vSphere being used. In the following screenshot from the HCL, we can clearly see this is supported for the version of VMware vSphere 7.0 we are using in this tutorial.
3. Creating the Windows Virtual Machine
Right Click Virtual Machine and select Create/Register VM. This will open up a wizard and guide you through the process of creating the virtual machine configuration.
After selecting Create New Virtual Machine, the Create New Virtual Machine dialogue box and wizard will be displayed. This allows you to specify your requirements for the virtual machine, the number of processors, the amount of memory, storage required, and network card, these are the basic requirements, which are needed to create a virtual machine.
Take a few minutes to think about your virtual machine requirements, Ask yourself the question - What would you specify when purchasing a physical machine or server? These values can be changed and amended later, e.g. add additional processors, increase memory or storage space. It's much easier to grow storage than reduce it later, so my advice would be to start small, and later grow your resources, by looking at the performance of the virtual machine.
In a previous EE Article, we discuss performance, see here HOW TO: Performance Monitor vSphere 4.x or 5.0. One of the many advantages of virtual machines, we have greater flexibility to add and remove resources, compared to a physical computer or server. We also have very fine controls, or granular controls over machine specifications, e.g. memory, most memory components in physical servers today are in 4GB DIMM increments, using virtualization, we can increase memory in 256MB or 512MB increments! This is not easy to complete with physical computers, we cannot cut a memory DIMM in half!
The Create Virtual Machine Wizard creates the configuration or machine specification for us to install our operating system later. It includes some specification templates, based on the vendors minimum requirements for the Operating System selected.
Select Create a new virtual machine followed by next.
Enter a Name for the virtual machine and click Next.
This is the name which will appear in the inventory, this is not to be confused with the operating system's hostname, which will be set when we install the operating system. In the example, I have entered the name "My First Windows Virtual Machine" This is not a good example, and I would recommend not to use spaces, and use hyphens or underscores!
Select the Guest OS Family, and Guest OS version. Leave the Compatibility set to ESXi 7.0 virtual machine.
Click Next to continue, select the datastore to store the virtual machine configuration files and virtual machine disks and click Next to continue through the wizard
In my previous EE articles, we discussed datastore creation see here
Select the storage datastore to use to store the virtual machine, followed by Next.
Customize Settings - Configure the virtual machine hardware and virtual machine additional options, and click Next to continue. Make sure you select the Datastore iso, you have already uploaded.
Select the required virtual disk size, this is the size of the disk for the operating system installation. The default size is provided based on vendors minimum recommendations.
Please note: It is very easy to increase the disk size of a virtual machine after installation, please see my previous EE Article HOW TO: Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk, However, it's more difficult to shrink a virtual disk. So we would always recommend, starting small and growing later. The only VMware supported procedure to shrink a virtual disk, is to use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, and create a V2V, which is also covered in my previous EE Articles listed here
Click Finish to create the virtual machine configuration.
The virtual machine will be created. If you check the Host Inventory, you will see your Virtual Machine - "My First Windows Virtual Machine" listed in the inventory.
4. Installing Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Operating System in the Virtual Machine
Installing the Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Operating System in the virtual machine hosted on the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server is very similar, to installing the Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Operating System on a physical computer or server, with a few differences, which we will list below.
The very first time a virtual machines boots, its' BOOT order in the CMOS BIOS is set to CD-ROM. After the installation has been successful, this is reset to Hard Disk.
Right-click the virtual machine "My First Windows Virtual Machine" and select Power On. The virtual machine should automatically boot from the CD-ROM ISO image file. Then select the Console function so you can interact with the virtual machine.
The virtual machine should automatically boot from the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM ISO image file. The Console function is similar to the Keyboard/Video Machine (KVM) function in a datacentre, which allows you to toggle between console screens of computers, it allows you to interact with the virtual machine, with keyboard and mouse movements, and displays the screen. The Microsoft Windows Server 2019 installation start-up process
Select the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method; and Click Next to continue.
Language and Keyboard Selected
Click Install Now
The following screen will be displayed - Setup is starting
Enter Product Key when prompted or Skip it, and add it later.
Select the required version to install. I am going to install Windows Server 2019 Standard (Desktop Experience) e.g. with a GUI. With Server 2019 the GUI cannot be added later if you've installed Server 2019 without a GUI! It's a re-installation! So if you want a GUI, select Desktop Experience.
Accept the License Terms by ticking the box, and select Next to continue the installation
As this is a new operating system, we are installing, select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
Select the disk drive location for the operating system installation followed by Next
Installing Windows will start and copy files from the media to the virtual machine hard disk
After the installation restarts, Windows will restart several times setting up devices
Type a password to be used as the Local Administrator password for the server, followed by Finish.
The Windows Server 2019 logon screen will appear.
Congratulations, you have successfully created your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) Host Server
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