FearlessRabbit
Contributor
Contributor

Pre-install extravaganza, a newbie`s call for help

Hello gurus, it`s pleasure to be part of this great community. I come here from networking world and small-business environments where duties are not so cleanly cut, and have been entitled a task of migrating our Oracle VM environment to vSphere 5. Im a fan of ESX since version 3, but I never really had a chance to be more envolved in the field. Time has come to dive in.

Unfortunatelly, there is not much time for warming up as we have to be up and running in a month. Except some basic consultation with our VMware partner prior the installation, Im practically put in fire cold. They wont be integrating it, but selling it, because we insisted on doing the integration on our own. There is a VCP5 training course in the region next month, but it`s too bit too late.

Now, I got myself some neat video tutorials following VCP5 syllabus, and from the point where I have all my ESXi hosts in vCenter, I can handle it. Reaching that point is kind of blurry to me. Hopefully you guys will be able to steer my in right direction, because all guide I`ve seen so far are installing ESX on one single host.

I have two datacenters, one primary and one failover. Primary site has IBM E series chassis with five blade servers, EMC FC storage, and Cisco network blades are port-aggregated to. Failover is a single rack IBM server with NAS storage attached.

What interests me the most regarding the installation is order. What is the suggested order of action when you install five blade ESXi hosts. What you do first, is there some check-list to make sure everything goes smooth, do I need to make sure some services are available during the install (DNS, NTS) even though all servers are down, etc.

Most of all, it`s being said vCenter is best to be a VM. Then I see ESXi being installed after vCenter is operational, and being added to the console. Now, this looks like a chicken-egg problem to me. Which came first for god sake? Smiley Happy

This is what concerns me the most. The rest is importing Oracle template, or "clones" of existing VMs into the vCenter, and what is I might be losing by doint this instead of installing fresh servers. You know, all the usual migration questions one might contemplate.

Any other resource that might help me in planning the whole process would be immensly appreciated!

Thank you guys and galls,

Milos

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4 Replies
lenzker
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

welcome in the VMware world 😉

>Most of all, it`s being said vCenter is best to be a VM. Then I see ESXi being installed after vCenter is operational, and being added to the console. Now, this looks like a chicken-egg problem to me. Which came first for god sake? Smiley Happy

//I guess you have checked that all of your hardware is compatible

Install your ESXi and configure it probably (network, DNS, NTP, storage-connectivity). Create your datastores and install in this ESXi your vCenter VM (vCenter appliance or the windows installation). In certain cases you want to split services like SSO, Inventory-Service, WEb Client on several machines.

Decide which database you are going to use for the vCenter (internal (supported up to 5 ESXi-hosts) or external (oracle,microsoft,ibm...)).

After you have installed/configured your vcenter you can connect to it and attach all of your ESXi hosts to it and configure the rest probably  (manually or with host profiles).

This is just a short overview of what to configure. You need to consider design basics as well (which cluster, networking, datastore size, VM deployment processes, certificates....there a lot of good books out there (e.g. a good start is vSphere Design by Scott Lowe, et al.even though it written for vSphere 4.x )

You should definitly read the VMware installation guide here:
http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-51-install...

If you have existing VMs running in other vSphere environments, you can add them by making the storage "accessible" to the new ESXi host and register them to your new ESXi hosts. (e.g. add the old ESXI to your vCenter and migrate datastore&hosts) or by export and importing the old VMs as OVF files.

For myself, I prefer to keep the exisiting VMs if they were running on an ESXi before, instead of new installation. But of course the depends on the complexity of the Applications and their migrations process.

VCP,VCAP-DCA,VCI -> https://twitter.com/lenzker -> http://vxpertise.net
FearlessRabbit
Contributor
Contributor

Install your ESXi and configure it probably (network, DNS, NTP, storage-connectivity). Create your datastores and install in this ESXi your vCenter VM (vCenter appliance or the windows installation). In certain cases you want to split services like SSO, Inventory-Service, WEb Client on several machines.

After you have installed/configured your vcenter you can connect to it and attach all of your ESXi hosts to it and configure the rest probably  (manually or with host profiles).

Thank for the reply buddy! If I understood correctly, I should first install ESXi on first blade host blindly, and then vCenter as VM on top of it? That`s okay, but how will I create a VM, configure network, storage and stuff without vCenter? :smileyconfused:

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lenzker
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

you don't need the vCenter for the basic setup.

You just need a windows client where you have connectivity to the ESXi and install the vSphere client on it (as an alternative deploy a server with the vSphere webclient installed).

Than you start the vSphere client, connect to the FQDN/IP of your esxi -> enter root + password and you are directly connected to the ESXi where you can make all ESXi configurations + the creation of new virtual machines

VCP,VCAP-DCA,VCI -> https://twitter.com/lenzker -> http://vxpertise.net
FearlessRabbit
Contributor
Contributor

Perfect! I guess once I install all five hosts, I can create a VM and install proper vCenter Server on it.

Thanks a bunch, I know this sounds trivial to you, but it saved me a lot of brainstorming Smiley Happy

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