Issue using iDRAC port to manage VMware Hypervisor

Mark Limesand
Mark Limesand used Ask the Experts™
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I setup a VMware ESXi host on a Dell server using the iDRAC port as the VMware management interface.  I used the VMware Dell 6.7 ESXi hypervisor.  I can connect to the hypervisor and both the SSH shell and the web management come up fine.  However, for some reason it will not allow me to load a guest OS.  The problem goes away if I use a standard NIC.  Using the iDRAC would be our preferred method in our environment.  Has anyone else ran into this issue?
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Please clarify, which idrac version do you have express or enterprise?
the guest OS is loaded through the hypervisor, vmware, the idrac gives you access to the management of the ESX it lets you do only what you would be able to do while directly at the console. i.e. deal with a failed hypervisor that can not boot, you would use idrac to restore functionality of the hypervisor.

Did you setup a vCenter appliance through which you can manage the VMs on your vmware host?
Do you have a vCenter appliance, do you have access to the vSphere through which you can manage the host?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
it will not allow you to load an OS?

what is the error message?
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
Andrew,

I think the question deals with using idrac to load VM  guest oS within the hypervisor.
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Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
I think the question is based on prior experience with a hyper-v hypervisor which can manage guest VMs from the console and via idrac.

Author

Commented:
Arnold,

The idrac version is Enterprise.  I am trying to setup a backup single server environment for my current VMware environment(I am using Veeam to backup images to this Environment),  We can not afford to pay for a second SAN or NAS at this time.   I installed VMware on the server and setup the idrac as the management port.  Once I did this I could connect with the web management interface.  However,  I cannot install a guest OS.  I will try it again tomorrow and post the error message.  

Thanks
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
to be clear you have vmwarehost1 live
you have veeam backup vmwarehost1 vms
replicate the vm to vmwarehost2

did you upload an ISO of the OS you wish to install into the datastore? attach the ISO as a CD for the guest VM when booting?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
You need to setup the iDrac as dedicated or shared, but the iDrac MUST have a unique IP Address, and not the same as ESXi.

So you need to IP Addresses

1. IP Address for iDRAC
2. IP Address for ESXi Management Interface

if you have both IP Addresses the same, this will not work.

VMs cannot be created, and you cannot really manage all the features of ESXi via the iDRAC.

This needs to be done via the ESXi GUI (if ESX 6.x or later)

Please have a read of my EE tutorials with screenshots, which may aide you

Part 1:  HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere (HTML5 Web) Host Client 6.5

Part 3: HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Part 4: HOW TO: Upload an ISO image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere Host Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

Part 5: HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Part 6: HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alert displayed in Summary status for ESXi 6.5 after enabling SSH or ESXi Shell

Part 7: HOW TO: Create your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server

Part 8: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server

Author

Commented:
Andrew,

Are you saying I should move the VMware management interface to one of the standard NICs?  I assume you are recommending adding a new uplink to the existing virtual switch and reIPing the VMware management interface.  Should I even have the iDRAC port on the virtual switch?

Thanks,
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
IDRAC is for when the OS does not boot, this is a Lights out management granting you console access to the system no matter what is running on it. If the esx host does not start, using idrac you can look at the console, present ISO/DVD to boot the system from and try to repair the ESX.
If the ESX boots, you will have the same access as you would if you were in front of the system's screen when the ESX is booted. If not mistaken, there is a limited set of options there dealing with puting the system in maintenance and some other ESX server tasks.
Setting up a VM is not part of that.
Usually, you would have two NICs in use, one for the IDRAC and one for the regular nic. which if you only use one serves two functions, one is the management IP for the esx host and the other is the IP/s for the guests

Virtual Switch                                              Physical nics
VMs                    
management IP

You can connect two real nics with one in a management VLAN through which the esx host can be managed
while the other/s are connected to a different set of LANs ....
Andrew,

Thanks for all the help.  I have setup the environment as recommended using the two standard NICs one with as management and one for the ghost OS machines.   Everything is working well.  I got confused because when I was reading the iDRAC instructions it talks about running it in shared mode.  I know understand that means if you are running it over a standard NIC and not through a dedicated port.

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