HOW TO: Automate and Deploy a VMware vSphere 8.0 and vSAN 8 Lab using a PowerCLI script

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
EE Fellow, MVE, Expert of the Year 2021,2017-11, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert Pro, vExpert 2022-2011
In 2014, I wrote an article HOW TO: Set up a lab environment for vSAN using VMware Workstation using AutoLab, Sadly AutoLab has not been maintained and updated since 2018, to take advantages of later versions of VMware vSphere. The latest supported version was 6.7.

VMware vSphere 6.7 went End of Life on 15th October 2022, however on 11th October 2022 VMware released VMware vSphere 8.0.

What's New

This release of VMware vSphere 8.0 includes VMware ESXi 8.0 and VMware vCenter Server 8.0. Read about the new and enhanced features in this release in the vSphere 8 Technical Overview Blog.

Well known blogger William Lam and fellow VMware vExpert has released a PowerCLI script - Automated vSphere & vSAN 8 Lab Deployment Script

In this video I show you how to use the script, and also had to modify the nested ESXi hosts so networking is operating correctly, which without the script would fail. This video shows you how to create a test lab environment to test and demonstrate VMware vSAN 8.0, and to take it for a test drive. It's not recommended that this lab be used in production environment.

I do need to follow up with William, and open some PR on Github to report several issues I have encountered with the script.

Video Steps

1. Prerequisite.

The following prerequisite are required

  1. vCenter Server running at least vSphere 7.x or later (Cluster with HA and DRS enabled)
  2. The latest PowerShell Core and PowerCLI 12.1 Core installed. (Windows, Mac and Linux supported)
  3. The vSphere 8.x OVAs
  4. The PowerCLI script

The links to the files are included on the GitHub page

2. Extract the contents of the vCenter Server 8.0 ISO to a directory on your computer.

Using a third party extraction utility, e.g. Z-Zip extract the ISO contents.

3. Edit the PowerCLI script.

Customise the script with your required settings.

4. Execute the script using PowerShell Core.

Do not use Powershell to execute the script, use not Powershell Core.

5. Wait for the script to execute.

After the nested ESXi hosts have been deployed Restore Network settings as per video.

6. Wait for the script to complete.

The script takes between 30 and 60 minutes to execute depending upon speed of resources.

7. Login to new vCenter Server 8.0.

Using the login and password login to the new vCenter Server 8.0.
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