We are currently running production servers in an ESX 4.0 environment. We are looking to setup a development environment which would consist of a couple of hosts running ESXi (free) with local storage which could utilize the backups of the production VMs by restoring them into the development environment. Intitial thoughts:
-maintain IP addressing of production servers that are restored into the development environment
-allow developer access to the VMs in the development environment from the production LAN
From what I have read, Lab Manager or vCloud Director would have been close to getting us there, except that you cannot use the free version of ESXi with either. Does anyone have suggetions on how we should look to configure the development environment, as well as what software and/or hardware would be needed? Thanks.
You could build the environment and restore the VMs. You could have a separate physical switch setup and maintain the IP addressing, but just make sure it isn't routing (or maybe not even connected) upstream. Use this setup for your VMs only.
Then you can put your management interfaces for the ESXi boxes on the real network and allow developers access via the vSphere Client. This will allow them to access the VMs with the addressing intact, but with the VMs still being completely isolated.