5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2010 8:25 AM by WildDoktor

    Quick ESXi overview for a noob

    WildDoktor Novice

      Hi, new to the fourms, fairly new to virtualization, fairly new to VMware, and brand new to ESXi (but a network / server tech for 20 years).  I'm evaluating different tools for a specific scenerio, and wondering if ESXi might fill the bill.


      I'm hoping to get a few questions answered before I dive in fully to installing / evaling ESXi, so I thought I'd come here first.


      My ultimate goal is to deploy, on one box, a Windows 2008 R2 Domain Controller, a 2008 R2 Terminal Server (RDS), and then a few physical thin clients. I understand, of course, that I can install ESXi on a physical box, then install 2 VMs for the servers, and add the thin clients, hook it all up to a switch, which is hooked to a router.  That's the easy part.


      My question is:  how do I make this setup work as a test environment in an existing network?


      For instance, currently at home I have an SBS2008 server (domain controller, dhcp server, DNS, etc.) w/several workstations/laptops and the usual maze of switches and wires, all going to the Endian router.  All is working well.


      How would I introduce the above Terminal Server environment, with it's own Domain Controller (and domain) on a different IP scheme, to my existing environment?


      And...would I be able to manage that test environment from my current workstation, on my current domain?


      I suppose this has been done by lots of you already, but it's a first for me, and I'm struggling with the concept.  Not sure if this is an ESXi question or a "two domains on one router" question.


      Can you tell I'm confused?


      Thanks for the help!



        • 1. Re: Quick ESXi overview for a noob
          DSTAVERT Guru

          You can create a separate isolated network by adding a second vSwitch with no uplink port (no physical NIC). Add a virtual router that bridges the two vSwitches. VPN through the virtual router to your isolated network. You can use a physical router in place of the virtual one and have a second nic in the ESXi host. That way you can connect physical machines to your private network;.

          • 2. Re: Quick ESXi overview for a noob
            WildDoktor Novice

            Nice!  Will this isolated network be able to contact the "outside world"...the internet?


            To create the vswitch, I'm assuming it's all command line from the ESXi console, correct?  At least, that's the only info I can find in the KB on the vmware site.  It doesn't look like I can do it from the "Go" web interface.

            • 3. Re: Quick ESXi overview for a noob
              DSTAVERT Guru

              Download the vSphere Client from the web interface on the ESXi host. http://IP_Of_Your_ESXI. Make sure you enable the Host Update Utility install when you install the client. From there you can add switches, virtual machines etc.


              When you install the virtual router make sure the WAN side of the router connects to the vSwitch that also connects to your physical LAN. The LAN side of the virtual router connects to the second vSwitch which will be you virtual LAN.


              The virtual lan will have access to the outside world through the virtual router. To access the virtual machines you will either need to use the vSphere Client console or create a VPN through the virtual router to your private lan.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Quick ESXi overview for a noob
                DSTAVERT Guru

                There are many VMware appliance virtual routers. There are some in the http://www.vmware.com/appliances/ or do a search on Google "vmware router appliance". I personally use pfsense pfsense.org. but there are lots to choose from.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Quick ESXi overview for a noob
                  WildDoktor Novice

                  Thanks for your help, David; this is now making more sense to me, and I've marked this thread as "answered".