Boot the RHEL 8 installer. Boot your system using the bootable installation media containing the.
VMware vSphere ESXi is a bare-metal hypervisor for virtualizing servers. It provides the essential services for consolidating applications and simplifying the management of your infrastructure and can be bought with vSphere or gotten as a free, downloadable version. vSphere 7 was released02 April 2020 with some significant enhancements, the biggest being the rearchitected with native Kubernetes into an open platform that enables you to run existing enterprise applications alongside modern containerized applications in a unified manner. In this post, I will go through the steps to install VMware vSphere ESXi 7 using interactive method. Other methods to install ESXi hosts are by using Script and Auto Deploy.
Steps to Install VMware vSphere ESXi 7
Vmware Free Version Bare Metal Install
Before installing vSphere ESXi 7, we need to review the following essential pre-requisites:
- Verify the compatibility of the hardware you are using from the VMware Compatibility Guide.
- Ensure that the hardware you are using meets the minimum hardware requirements for installing ESXi.
- Download the image you will use for installing vSphere ESXi 7 from the VMware download center. You will need to create a My VMware account to be able to download the image. You can also get custom ISO images with software and drivers specific to the hardware you are using. (HP, CISCO UCS, DELL Lenovo).
- Prepare the installation media you will use for the installation. This can be either a CD/DVD or a USB flash drive.
Once we have all the prerequisites addressed, we can proceed with the installation. First, we are going to boot from the media we had created for installing. Immediately after booting from my installation media, the installer is going to extract the installation files.
Once this is complete, the next window will show us a welcome message. Press Enter to continue.
Vmware Free Bare Metal Hypervisor
Next will be the End User License Agreement (EULA). Press F11 to accept this and continue with the installation.
The installer will then scan for all available devices for installing ESXi and show the supported devices. The recommended boot devices for vSphere 7 as per the hardware requirements are:
- An 8GB USB/SD and an additional local disk of 32 GB
- A local disk with a minimum of 32GB
- A local disk of 142 GB or higher.
After that, we will choose the keyboard layout and click next to continue.
Set a password for the root account. This is the account we will use to login to our ESXi host after installation.
Once done, click on F11 to begin the installation.
The installation will take a few minutes to complete.
Once completed, you will be prompted to remove the installation media and reboot the server to administer it.
Remove the installation media to prevent the server from booting from it when you reboot then click enter to continue.
When the server completes the boot process, it will be assigned an IP address automatically if you have a DHCP server. If you do not have a DHCP server, you will need to log in to the ESXi host using the root account to set the network settings.
To customize the system settings, click on F2 and enter the password for the root account.
From here, you can configure different settings for the ESXi host. You can configure IP address, hostname, DNS, etc.
You can then log in to your ESXi host using the IP address of ESXi from any browser as shown below.
You can access the VMware host client when you enter https://IP address/FQDN/ui of your ESXi host on any modern browser. The host client is an HTML5 based client that you can use to manage and troubleshoot your ESXi host.
On the first login to the ESXi host, you will be asked to choose whether you want to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). When you decide to join the CEIP, VMware regularly collects technical information about your organization’s use of its products in association with your organization’s VMware license key(s).
From here, you can proceed to create your virtual machines and manage your ESXi host.
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What is vSphere Hypervisor?
The vSphere Hypervisor (formerly known as ESXi), is the free edition of vSphere offering the bare-metal architecture for best possible performance. It installs during boot-time of the Hypervisor host.
The following components traditionally run on the Hypervisor platform:
- Index - MySQL Server stores the recording and management data
- Dashboard - Single ISR Dashboard for both the Administrator and User
- FACE API
Virtual Machine Default Resource Configurations
Any Hypervisor that Supports Oracle Linux Releases 7.2 - 7.6 are permitted. For more information, see the 'Hardware' section of this guide.
Note:A table on the VMWare Knowledge Base recommends certain VM virtual hardware versions (“VM Version” above) with Hypervisor (ESXi) platform versions. Although no misbehavior associated with the ISR hosts has been confirmed as related to hardware version incompatibilities, the latest virtual hardware version, vmx-10, has been successfully tested with the recommended Hypervisor version, VMware ESXi 5.5 Update 2. The following instructions from VMWare’s Knowledge Base explain upgrading the virtual hardware version of a VM:
- Power on the VM to be upgraded.
- Install VMware Tools using vSphere client by right-clicking on the VM, selecting the Guest menu, and the Install/Upgrade VMWare Tools option.
- In vSphere client, right-click the entry for the VM and select Upgrade Virtual Hardware.
- In vSphere Client’s General Summary of the VM confirm the VM Version value is vmx-10.
- Power on the VM.
Installing vSphere Hypervisor
Use the following procedure to install vSphere Hypervisor. Before beginning this installation, be sure you have performed the tasks in the section Before You Begin.
To install vSphere Hypervisor:
- Open a web browser and enter the following URL to navigate to the VMware download page:
- Download the ESXi 5.5 update 1 file to your server.
Note:You may need to login into the VMware download page with a user name and password before downloading the file. If not already registered, please register and then login to download the applicable file.
- Burn the ESXi 5.5 update 1 <filename>.ISO image to a CD.
- Boot the server from the ESXi 5.5 update 1 CD you just created.
- At the prompt, press Enter to proceed with the installation.
- Press <F11> to accept the ESXi 5.5 license.
- At the Select a Disk menu, press Enter to confirm the remote storage device and continue.
- Press <F11> to install the ESXi 5.5 update 1.
- When the installation is complete, remove the CD and press Enter to reboot the server.
- Configure the vSphere Hypervisor using the procedures in Configuring vSphere Hypervisor.
Configuring vSphere Hypervisor
After installing the vSphere Hypervisor, you must perform two basic configuration step before you can use it. Use the following procedure to configure vSphere Hypervisor.
- After installing vSphere Hypervisor and rebooting the server, press <F2> Customize System.
- At the login prompt, enter the following:
- Select Configure Password and follow the instructions to assign a password to assign for logging into vSphere Hypervisor.
The password rules as stated on the VMWare knowledge base are as follows:
A valid password requires a mix of upper and lower case letters, digits, and other characters. You can use a 7-character long password with characters from at least 3 of these 4 classes, or a 6-character long password containing characters from all the classes. An upper case letter that begins the password and a digit that ends it do not count towards the number of character classes used. It is recommended that the password does not contain the username.
WARNING:This password is required to login to your Hypervisor instance (this console) as well as for accessing through the vSphere client.
Keep this password secure.
- Press Enter when complete to enter the System Customization Menu.
- Select Configure Management Network and press Enter.
- Select Network Adapters and confirm at least one network interface card (NIC) has status showing 'Connected'. Press Enter.
Note:Make a note of this NIC; you will need this information later.
- Select IP Configuration and press Enter.
- Press <space bar> to select Set Static IP Address and Network Configuration.
- Enter the IP address of your ESXi Host and press Enter.
- Enter the subnet mask and press Enter. For example, Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
- Enter the default gateway and press Enter.
- Press <Esc> to exit the IP Configuration Menu.
- Select DNS Configuration.
- In the DNS Server field, specify the domain name system (DNS) server addresses if required.
Note:Internet access is required to download the vSphere Client in the next section.
- In the Hostname field, specify the Hostname for the server to use.
- Press <Esc> to exit the DNS Configuration Menu.
- Press <Esc> to exit the Management Network Menu.
- At the Save Changes prompt, press Y to apply the changes and restart the management network.
- Select Test Management Network.
- Attempt to ping your server in the network.
Note:The ping you send out may include any DNS server configured in your network.
If the first attempt fails, try pinging again. The test should show a response from your server indicating that your server was setup correctly for network management in your network.
Note:If your hostname cannot be resolved by your DNS servers, or you didn’t configure any DNS servers, the resolving hostname test will fail. This does not adversely affect the CIS performance.
- Press <Esc> to exit the Test Management Network Menu.
- Press <Esc> to log out.
Once the ESXi host is on the network, perform all configuration management through the vSphare client.