Configuring the ESXi management interface via the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) is the first step, post installation, needed to make your ESXi host accessible (unless of course it obtains an address via DHCP). Once the management interface is setup and working you can then log into the server from the host based client or use tools such as PowerCLI to manage and configure the host. In fact, since the basic features of ESXi are free, you could start virtualizing with just 1 host and the management interface configured.
If you have not already done so, create the appropriate DNS records for your host(s). You should now be able to access the Welcome page and download the Windows client. You could also connect to the host using PowerCLI at this point.
The basics are now in place for you to start creating virtual machines!
**Please note that the installation steps here and requirements are based on beta and release versions of ESXi 6.**
Installing VMware ESXi 6 is just as straight forward as ever, of course you’ll want to make sure your hardware is on the VMware HCL and you meet the necessary system requirements:
Of course those are minimums and you won’t get much virtualized with those specs, but alas that is likely fine for lab and testing purposes. For the installation, I typically suggest USB or SD card. This saves your physical disks, either locally or in a boot from SAN configuration free for VM related IO. If you have local disks and flash based drives in your system, you can enable VSAN for example to provide shared storage in from the local storage in your hosts. There are other requirements for VSAN that I’ll touch on in another post (or check out yellow-bricks or cormachogan.com/)
The local storage is the bare minimum required. With only 1GB there are a few extra steps after the installation to define a location for log storage but its a simple step. If you want storage for log files as part of your boot media, you will need at least 5.2GB. When you reach the root password step, usually I start with something easy to type so when I log into the console interface (DCUI) after the installation and add the hosts to vCenter I’m not “infomercial bumbling” for the password. Later I can then rip a PowerCLI script through the environment to change to a more complex password.
Burn the ISO do a CD or mount it in your remote console (e.g UCS, iLO, DRAC or vSphere/Workstation/Fusion for your nested home lab) and power on the computer.
The ISO will launch into the installer:
Once you have restarted, you will be at the Direct Console User Interface, aka the DCUI. That is it, installing ESXi, assuming you have the prereqs in place is quite straight forward, configuration on the other hand – well that depends on your environment and your business requirements. If you are installing ESXi in your lab as a nested virtual machine you may also want to consider VMware Tools for ESXi.
Today Ravello has announced a new version of their platform. I first met Ravello at VMworld and was impressed with what they were building. Ravello, in my opinion, makes it easy to explore public cloud solutions and get comfortable with a range of technologies out side the traditional virtualization admin world – specifically I am looking at them as I continue my journey in learning DevOps methodologies and tools.
With their new release, Ravello is also close to being able to run ESXi as a virtual machine on AWS – for lab enthusiast this means no more expensive home lab equipment. Fire up your AWS hosted ESXi virtual machines and run your lab for as long as you need and power it off when you’re done.
Ravello also provides you the ability to run native ESXi virtual machines on AWS, I can think of several situations where I could have leveraged this functionality for disaster recovery and/or disaster recovery testing.
Full press release after the break…
Official Press Release:
Ravello Systems, Inc. today announced that it has released a major version of its nested virtualization technology, HVX, which wraps complex application environments in selfcontained capsules that can run on any cloud. Founded in 2011 by the team that created the KVM hypervisor, Ravello is driving a fundamental increase in pace for companies by instantly cloud enabling any application.
Delivered as a service, Ravello is a breakthrough offering that enables entire application environments with existing VMware or KVM virtual machines and complex networking, to be deployed on any cloud, without any changes. In addition to seamless cloud usage, Ravello has enabled enterprises to reduce provisioning time for complex application environments from months to minutes. Ravello’s cloudbased smart labs enable enterprises to accelerate their development, test, training, sales and support processes. With the new major release today, Ravello has further enhanced all components of its technology:
1. HVX: nested hypervisor the nested hypervisor now includes nested^2 functionality through support for virtualization extensions such as Intel VT and AMD SVM. This means, in addition to running unmodified VMware or KVM virtual machines on public clouds, Ravello can also run thirdparty hypervisors such as KVM today and soon ESXi on top of AWS or Google cloud. This enables hardwareless hypervisor labs and OpenStack labs in the public cloud.
2. HVX: overlay networking and storage the overlay networking technology now includes full support for VLANs as well as mirror ports on top of AWS or Google Cloud. When combined with the unique ability to support broadcast and multicast in public clouds, the new networking functionality enables applications to have full layer 2 access and use the cloud just like the data center.
3. Management the Ravello management UI has undergone a complete refresh. It now has a new look and feel, with improved user experience and a unified private library that serves as a repository of all resources such as VMs, application blueprints, disk Ravello Systems went into a successful public beta in February 2013 and launched the product globally in August 2013. Since then Ravello’s technology has been adopted by a wide variety of companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to midsize and smaller companies.
In order to use vSphere templates in vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center and Application Services / Application Director there is a bit of preparation you need to do, especially if you want to use Application Services. There are guest agents for both vRealize Automation and Application Services so lets get started. A quick assumption here, you already have a linux virtual machine installed with VMware Tools. I am going to cheat a bit here and use the e1000 NIC, if you want to use the VMXNET3 adapter see my post on how to install VMware Tools…which needs Perl…which needs network access…which needs Perl! Let’s get started with the specifics on configuring your Linux VM; I have a CentOS virtual machine called vxprt-centos-tmp that is powered on and ready to configure. Log in via the VMRC or SSH to get started:
Note that as of Application Services 6.1, you cannot use CentOS7 – at the very least the guest agent will not install, I have not tested beyond the agent installation so certain functionality may work. The support matrix has more details on supported operating systems.
The installer will download all of the necessary components and place them in the correct location; a nice step forward from vCloud Automation Center and Application Director 6.0. You should receive a message that the Installation Complete Successfully and Ready to capture as a template… however there is still one more step we actually need to do – remove the 70-persistent-net.rules file. This file keeps track of MAC addresses and it will change every time we clone the template. By removing it, it will recreate the file on first boot.
We should now be ready to add the vSphere template as a Blueprint in vRealize Automation Center
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We are cruising right along here in our vRealize Automation / vCloud Automation Center setup. So far we have everything installed, permissions assigned, a vCenter endpoint added and fabric group created with the cluster from our vCenter server. Now its time to setup business groups. Business groups are just a logical group of users, this may be done per department, per project or per external customer. We can publish catalog items to business groups, so when planning your business groups think of the things certain groups may or may not need. For example you may want a business group for your QA department that only has access to builds that are currently being tested so they do not chose the wrong version to deploy, or not want finance see HRs catalog items. Consider helpdesk users, you may want to publish certain catalog items for them to do certain tasks like create AD users and groups through vCenter Orchestrator workflows or PowerShell scripts – the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Remember when I said installing it was the easy part – wasn’t kidding – all the work for vRealize Autoamtion / vCloud Automation Center comes in the application configuration.
A couple of things before we get started with business groups however; lets create some users in our AD to mimic end users and if you recall from my last post we also need to create a machine prefix as it is a required field to create the business group – no defined prefix, no savie business group.
The fabric administrator creates machine, in the last post I assigned this role to the iaasadmin user, if you are still logged in from the last post you will need to log out and back in again to have the new permissions assigned. Once logged in click on the Infrastructure tab >> Blueprints. Recall from a previous post that the user with the IaaS admin role only had an menu item under Blueprints called Instance Types, now there are several – take a moment to look at each, when you are ready click on Machine Prefixes.
Here we are – business groups and prefixes created, next up – creating reservations for our business groups.
Posted in Tech Tagged with: active directory, business group, Cloud, ESXI, Home, home lab, lab, machine prefix, nested esxi, Shared, Technology, Training, vcac, vcloud, vcloud automation center, vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), vcsa, Vendors, Virtualization, VMware, vmwarekb, vra, vRA Home Lab, vrealize, vrealize automation, vRealize Automation (vRA), vSphere, web client