Deploying & Configuring Embedded ESXi

I am designing a new application platform. One of the set ups I'm currently evaluating consists of ESXi 3.5 u3 embedded on HP BL495 blades.

If I want to restore my ESXi install back to the original software/settings is there a way to do this, or do I need to download an installer? I have been advised before that the normal ESXi install for HP (available from vmware.com) shouldn't be used for embedded installs. Is the HP version of the embedded installer available for download or do I have to request this from HP?

Now I have a better understanding of the relationship between vCenter and ESXi I realise that host settings are stored on the flash drive within the blade: vCenter doesn't seem to keep its own central copy, it reads the details from the host. This makes me think the ESXi configuration needs to be backed up, especially as FAT-based flash drives aren't infallible: is there any way to do this and is there any way to restore the settings easily?

Finally, is there an easy way to provision multiple ESXi embedded installs with the same settings? For example, NetApp recommend changing some of the NFS settings, but I haven't found a way to do this for multiple hosts at once. We have traditionally used kickstart and jumpstart at my site to configure many hosts identically: I'm just trying to work out how we can obtain a similar level of consistency and automation across an ESXi environment (I am only talking about ESXi settings here, we are continuing to kickstart and jumpstart Linux and Solaris VMs as we used to with physical machines).

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If you bought ESXi Embedded from HP, you should ask HP.

How to backup and restore ESXi configuration? You should have VI RCLI package installed on your desktop.


C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VI Remote CLI\bin>vicfg-cfgbackup.pl --server esxN.domain.com --username root --password secretpass -s r:\esxN.cfg

Saving firmware configuration to r:\esxN.cfg...

Then disconnect host in vCenter


C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VI Remote CLI\bin>vicfg-cfgbackup.pl --server esxN.domain.com --username root --password secretpass -l r:\esxN.cfg

The restore operation will reboot the host.

Type 'yes' to continue:


Uploading config bundle to configBundle.tgz ...

Performing restore ...

Connect host in vCenter.

Before you start restore you have to configure Management Network. Lockdown mode have to be off.


VMware vExpert '2009


EMCCAe, MCITP: SA+VA, VCP 3/4/5, VMware vExpert http://blog.vadmin.ru
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