4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 31, 2013 1:27 AM by a.p.

    Getting My Home Lab Up and Running

    Dthompson04 Enthusiast

      Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

        How do you create a boot thumb drive for ESXI 5.1/5.5 from a Windows computer and boot it on your new Lab Server?  I've got most of the equipment to build the first part of my lab and haven't really figured out how to get the software downloaded from the website and onto the thumb drive I plan on using to boot my lab server.

      Most of the government VMware implementations I've inquired about are still using 4.x so I'm not in a hurry to get into 5.5 and will start with 5.1.  Once I get some experience I'll create a boot drive for each.

        Just so you know, I do have several years of experience in IT both System Admin and Network Engineering.  It's now time to update my skills to the next level.

        To expand on my comment above I'm starting out with a single server and will quickly expand to a second one with shared storage once I get experience and am comfortable in the direction I'm moving.


      Thank you in advance and may you all have a Safe and Happy New Year!!!




        • 1. Re: Getting My Home Lab Up and Running
          a.p. Guru
          vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

          Depending on what you plan to install in the lab, you may register and download e.g. a 60-day vSphere evaluation at http://www.vmware.com/go/evaluate-vsphere-en or the free Hypervisor http://www.vmware.com/go/get-free-esxi. To install it on a thumb drive, just plug in the thumb drive on the lab server, start the interactive installation from the CD and select the thumb drive as the installation target.


          All the best for the New Year to you too.


          • 2. Re: Getting My Home Lab Up and Running
            Linjo Champion
            User Moderators

            I always use VMware Workstation/Player to do my USB installs. Much easier and usually more comfortable then crouching in the server-room. (my wife's closet...)

            • 3. Re: Getting My Home Lab Up and Running
              Dthompson04 Enthusiast

                After the 60 days can you download another trial version?  I'd like the install type to be as close as possible to what I would see in the real world.  Ultimately I will have two servers and a shared storage device, but will start with one server.

                My plan is at the end of the 60 days, some where about 50 I would reinstall one server and a week later reinstall the second

              The purpose of my lab is to eventually work towards my VCP 5.x, but also to certify in other areas.

              I'm currently a Network Engineer in one of the largest server farms, but I would like to upgrade my MCSE from 2000 to 2008 and 2012.  Additionally there are many Cisco labs I can run on a home lab.  VOIP, Wireless, Security, Cloud and more.

              • 4. Re: Getting My Home Lab Up and Running
                a.p. Guru
                User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                By default the evaluation period is not depending on the binaries you download nor an evaluation license key (which you may get if you have contacts to a VMware representative!?) The evaluation period starts with installing the product, i.e. without entering a license key. Re-installing the products will let the evaluation start again. Although that's most likely not what VMware expects you to do, I think nobody will blame you for doing this in your private lab for learning purposes.



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