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building my test ESXi 4.1 server

Thor2923
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Ok this one should be pretty easy. After working with our VMWARE environment I have decided to build a home lab. I went to the vmware site and downloaded the iso and built my simple ESXi server, then logged into winodws and pointed my browser to the IP address of the server I just built. I got the vmware screen and assume I need to download the middle product in the list. I did not get that download to complete last night and I do recall the exact name of it. But my stupid question is, where do I install this other large ISO I need to download? Will this go on the same server as my ESXi install? Do I need another box with no other OS?? Will I need a license key? I am not building a farm, I just want to load a single host to practice with....all info appreciated...thanks
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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
When going to the ESXi host via the browser, download & install the vSphere Client on your local workstation. You use that tool to manage the host. You should also download vCenter Server. What you do with that (assuming that is the other 'iso' you're referring to?) is you create a new VM on your ESXi host with a 64bit guest OS, then install vCenter Server on that. Since this is a lab, you can obviously use built-in local SQLExpress 2005 as your DB.

~coolsport00
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You will need a license key for the OS you install vCenter on. If you are doing a "trial", you don't need a license for either your ESXi host, or vCenter Server. You can eval them for 60days for FREE.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Oh, and you get ALL features enabled during that 60day trial.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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You need to download the vSphere Client and install on your desktop PC or Server, run the Client, and then connect to the server.

What other large ISO did you download?

Yes, you need to register with VMware, and a License Key will be displayed, otherwise it will run in 60 day evaluation mode, which ENABLES you to try ALL the advanced featured for FREE.

If you add the license key, immediately, you will NOT BE ABLE to evaluate the ADVANCED LICENSED features!

Author

Commented:
I will get more info when I get home...I am at a WatchGuard firewall seminar right now, but it sounds like all I have to do is point my Vsphere client at the IP address I configured for my ESXi box...Vcenter was the other large download I saw...but this will not be a farm, it is just a stand alone host so I can practice....I think I understand now...I can just point my vsphere client to my test esxi host I built and begin creating VMs??
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
That's correct.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Yep; once you install vCenter in a VM, you can then point your vSphere Client to the IP of your vCenter Server VM

Author

Commented:
ok got my Vsphere client pointed to my Esxi server and I see where I have 60 days evaluation. I thought ESXi was free along as you did not build a Vcenter or Farm, but apparently not....my next question is about storage. My little test ESXi server only has 69GB, which is ok for me to build one or two test virtual machines, but I wanted to practice adding storage. I do not have a SAN, but is it possible to use a file share on another as storage? I see where I can add storage and there are obviously no available LUNs so I need to go to NETWORK FILE SYSTEM. I see where I would put the IP of my storage server, but what exactly do I need to put for the folder?? Say I had a server 10.0.0.10 and I shared a folder called VM on that server. Is there a path I could put in to turn that folder into a datastore and give me more then the 69GB?  Also, what if I just buy a TB USB drive? Could I just plug that into my ESXi box and have it come to life as a datastore, similar to how the hard drive on my test server just sort of came to life as datastore1? I know the USB drive would not be practical in a live environment, but was thinking it might be an easy way to expand my test environment
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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ESXi is FREE, but you need to obtain a license, otherwise it runs in 60 day evaluation mode.

vCenter is NOT Free, and can only be evaluated for 60 days.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
and to obtain a license, you register your details with VMware, and it shows you your license on screen.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
It is free. When you downloaded it, you may not have noticed, but a "free" license key was displayed for you to copy & use...for up to 999 hosts if you want. But, with that license you can't use all the advanced features. You can play with storage by downloading/installing a storage virtual appliance (VA). You are a bit limited on what you can use for storage..aka Datastore. It has to be an approved SAN (See VMware Compatible Guide) or local storage.
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You can no longer add CIF shares, only NFS and iSCSI storage can be added.

USB External hard drives are not supported.

You need to watch some videos of mine....which will show you how to add and create iSCSI and NFS datastores

here you go....all you need to know, if you were afraid to ask, in glorious technicolor!

New HD Video - Adding iSCSI storage to a VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi 4.x host server[

New HD Video - Eazy Peezy Lemon Squeezy iSCSI Storage by StarWind iSCSI SAN Software


Creating an NFS Datastore using Windows 2008 R2 for VMware vSphere ESX/ESX 4.x


Adding an NFS Datastore to a VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi 4.x host server



Author

Commented:
ok this is all good thanks....but let me ask anyone just a simple question. Is there something affordable I can purchase for my home lab that will let me configure ai iSCSI connection from my test server and let me add some storage. Storage size is not important at this point, I just want some kind of device that will let me go thru hanccocka's videos and add a section of storage. I do not really care of it is only 1 or 2GB, I just want to go through the exercise and get a device that will let me simulate adding storage. I have heard this is on the vcp exam
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Yes, Install StarWind iSCSI Software on a PC, workstation, server, or even inside a VM!

FreeNAS, Openfiler, although I would recommend, Oracle Solaris Express 11, Openindiana, Nexcenta NAS solutions on ZFS.

All these are FREE!

if you really really want to purchase something, Western Digital World Book NAS supports NFS, and many other NAS solutions support iSCSI.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Just to add, all my videos, are adding iSCSI or NFS storage for FREE. StarWind iSCSI Software is Free. Okay, Microsoft Server 2008 R2 is not free, but it includes NFS, Unix for WIndows Services for 2003, is free, or iSCSI Target Iniator is free from Mircrosoft for 2008 as well.

Only spend, if you really have to.....if it's for VCP/Lab.

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