Academic VMware vSphere 6 Essentials Plus Kit for 3 hosts

I am just about to install a new server on to our domain, this is a new DELL PE R430 2XXE.E5-2620 2.4GHZ/15MB, 32GB,DDR3, PERC330.
I would like to install a new domain controller ( Windows 2012, and a new exchange 2013 in a virtual environment, I have purchased ACADEMIC VMWARE VSHPERE 6 ESSENTIALS +KIT FOR 3 HOSTS.
And would like some advice on the best idiot guide to installing  this correctly, understanding that this is my first time with VMware.

I need answers to questions like, do I install the operating system first or Vsphere and what pitfalls I can expect.
I presently have a Windows 2008 environment with exchange 2007 and need to be able to add the new server in a working office without any downtime?
Am I in over my head?
Thank you in advance for any help.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMware vSphere installs on bare metal, so it is the OS, you do not install anything first!

1. Check your server is ion the HCL.

2. If server is on the HCL, download the DELL OEM version of 6.0 from Dell. (not VMware).

3. Install to a USB flash drive or SD card, this is supported.

4. I would recommend the vSphere VMware vCenter Server Appliance, which can be downloaded as well.

So first things first you need to get your VMware vSphere server installed and working, before you can install any VMs.

see my EE Articles

Part 3: HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 4: HOW TO: Upload an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

Part 5: HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 6: HOW TO: Create your first Linux Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 7: HOW TO: Create your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 8: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 9: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

That should give you enough to get on with...

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.x on USB/SD:

(same for 6.0).

if you cannot find the OEM DELL version of ESXI, out your TAG Number in the Dell Website!

it will show what downloads are available for your server.

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

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dances1960Author Commented:
Wonderful thank you very much Andrew.
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