1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 23, 2012 11:27 AM by a.p.

    Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!

    Brahma1965 Novice

      Hi all.

       

      I'm new to this forum - and it will probably show from the questions I'll be asking.  I hope I'm asking in the right forum and I hope you are all patient!!

       

      Ok, my background is with the Windows Server environemnt, I have experience of Windows going back to 3.1 and 3.11 Workgroup and Windows NT 3.51 - more recently I have been working with Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.  I am keen to start moving towards a virtualised environment and that brings me to my questions as I am not sure which "flavour" I need to be looking at.  I would like to see a "drawing" of the architecture of these flavours if there is anything available?

       

      Anyway, question time.

       

      1. As far as I understand it, you install VM ESXi onto your server hardware, effectively as an operating system?  Once this is installed, you install vSphere on top of this?  And, using the vSphere client you setup your individual VM sessions.  Is that right?
      2. I have a spare Windows server, can I install a flavour of vSphere on this, without having to install ESXi?
      3. I would like to setup a demo to have a look at VM.  Is there some software that I can download (the only thing I can find on the VM website is for the ESXi / vSphere 60 day trial?)
      4. There appear to be loads of applications / flavours - I'm confused!  Is there some reading material that explains which one does what?
      5. I really just want to install a VM platform on a server and create virtual machines on this.  What do I need?

       

      Many thanks in advance,

       

      Brahma1965

        • 1. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
          a.p. Guru
          Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

          Welcome to the Community,

           

          to start with, vSphere is the name of VMware's virtualization suite. When talking about server virtualization, the products to look at are basically ESXi and - in case of a clustered environment - vCenter Server.

           

          ESXi is a Type 1 (bare metal) Hypervisor, installed directly on the physical hardware. Once installed you can manage it from the vSphere Client which has to be installed on a Windows system.

          If you want to get familiar with VMware virtualization, you could download a 30-day trial of VMware Workstation on which you can install and run virtual machines. If you decide not to purchase VMware Workstation after the trial period you can still run the VMs using VMware Player which is included in the VMware Workstation installation. You also have the option to install VM's in VMware Workstation or Player and later convert them to ESXi if you decide to go this way.

          If you want to setup an ESXi host for production, please make sure you verify that the system is supported by VMware (see http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl)

           

          André

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
            Brahma1965 Novice

            Hi Andre - and many thanks for the welcome and the info.

             

            So if ESXi is a bare metal hypervisor, is that the only VM product for Windows?  You dont build a Windows Server, and install a VM product onto it that makes it a VM server? (like you do with Windows 2008 Hyper-V - allbeit by installing the Hyper-V service)

             

            Brahma1965

            • 3. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
              a.p. Guru
              User ModeratorsvExpertCommunity Warriors
              So if ESXi is a bare metal hypervisor, is that the only VM product for  Windows?

              I'm not quite sure what you mean. ESXi is installed on the system directly, not on top of another OS like Windows.

              You dont build a Windows Server, and install a VM product onto  it that makes it a VM server?

              Exactly. After installing ESXi (which is the operating system) on the physical system, you can connect to it using the vSphere Client and after some initial configuration (hostname, IP address, DNS settings, virtual switches, ...) you can start building virtual machines, on which you then run the guest operating systems (Windows, Linux, ...) Installing and configuring ESXi will usually take less than 15 minutes (maybe a few minutes more if you are doing it the first time).

               

              André

              • 4. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                Brahma1965 Novice

                Oh right - its begining to get a bit clearer for me now!!  If I were to install VMware Workstation, will this look and behave like vSphere?  Is VMware Workstation good enough to learn enough on if I was working toward VM's qualifications?

                 

                B

                • 5. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                  a.p. Guru
                  Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

                  Although there are many similar things (VM setup, VMware Tools, Snapshots, ...) in VMware Workstation and vSphere ESXi, it's not the same. If you target towards certification you could - provided you have appropriate client hardware - create a complete virtual vSphere environment on VMware Workstation. See e.g. http://boerlowie.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/building-the-ultimate-vsphere-lab-part-1-the-story/

                   

                  André

                  • 6. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                    Brahma1965 Novice

                    Hello again!

                     

                    A quick quesiton again - I have been looking at minimum specs needed to run ESXi / VSphere on VM's website.  I know its important to specifiy equipment correctly when it is going to be used in a commercial environment but it is usually possible to run certain things in IT (Windows OS for example) on lesser specd kit - especially when its going to be used in a test / learning environment.  Is this the case with VM too or are the minimum specs quoted on the VM webpages the real minimum specs?  I guess what I'm getting at, is what kit have you guys installed VM on - what is the minimum spec I could get away with?  Can you install ESXi 5.0 on a 32 bit platform or is it only 64 bit?

                     

                    Many thanks,

                    • 7. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                      JASA1976 Enthusiast

                      ESXi is a 64bit platform only.

                       

                      Depending what elvel of performance you need from your test environment you an go from wunning in within Workstation on a laptop to a high perfomrnce piece of tin.

                       

                      My initial lab setup for testing was a pair of HP Ml115 servers with a couple of Cisco with an HP ML110 used as storage.

                       

                      I've now moved on to an HP DL380 and a Dell 2950.

                      • 8. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                        JASA1976 Enthusiast

                        To work towards certification you also need to go on the vSphere Config and install training course. You can still take the eam, but won't be credited with the qualification unless you've done the course.

                        • 9. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                          a.p. Guru
                          vExpertUser ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

                          If you consider to install vSphere in VMware Workstation 8.x (that's what a lot of people do for training) you will need to get appropriate hardware, but it's less restrictive than what you need to install ESXi on physical hardware. The most important component is the 64 bit CPU, which has to support e.g. VT-x, ... (for details see https://www.vmware.com/support/ws80/doc/releasenotes_workstation_80.html#Installation_Requirements).

                          Personally I use a PC with an Intel I7-2600 CPU, 16GB RAM, a HDD as well as an SSD (used for shared ESXi datastores). I did setup my lab similar to the one I provided the link for in an earlier post.

                           

                          André

                          • 10. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                            Brahma1965 Novice

                            Many thanks for your replies.

                             

                            I am on a bit of a budget, Andre and wont be able to buy the kit specified in your link (missed that first time round).  I'm probably going to have to fund all of this myself as my company wont be able to pay for the kit, the course or the exam.

                             

                            I've downloaded the ESXi 5 / vSphere 60 day trial and had a bash at installing it on a PC I've got knocking about.  Its got a Gigabyte motherboard and an AMD processor (cant remember now what versions as I've just turned the PC off!!)  Anyway, the install went through until it fell over at the Network card.  Does that mean the processor and motherboard will be ok?  I've tried to find my Network card (its an onboard) on the compatibility list but it's not there so I'll buy one.  The only compatible list I can find lists kit upto ESX 4 - I cant find one for ESXi 5.  Can any one point me in the right direction?  Or, alternatively, recommend a network card I can buy that will work on 5?  And finally (sorry!) can you explain how I get the ESXi 5 installer to pickup the drivers for the new NIC?

                             

                            Many thanks again.

                             

                            B

                            • 11. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                              a.p. Guru
                              User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

                              Well, I can't tell you whether your system will support all features, but if the installation works it's usually a good sign. Regarding the NIC you may try to get one which is known as working (search fro ESXi 5.0 Whitebox lists like http://www.ivobeerens.nl/2011/12/13/vmware-esxi-5-whitebox-nic-support/). One which usually works well and is affordable is the Intel PRO/1000 GT.

                               

                              André

                              • 12. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                                Brahma1965 Novice

                                Hello again.

                                 

                                I bought myself an Intel Pro/1000 GT and now when I install ESX it works!!  However, I've checked the network settings and the NIC is shown as "Conencted"; I've assisgned an IP address but I still cant connect to my server.  The subnet is correct and the IP address is within the same range as my management PC.

                                 

                                Any ideas?

                                 

                                B

                                • 13. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                                  a.p. Guru
                                  User ModeratorsvExpertCommunity Warriors

                                  Did you run "Test Management Network" from the DCUI (ESXi Console)? Does this work?

                                   

                                  André

                                  • 14. Re: Beginers Question - I dont know what I need!!!
                                    Brahma1965 Novice

                                    Hi - yes just trying that now.  I've set the degault gateway to that of my router (same as my laptop) and setup two dns server addresses (these are my isp's dns servers) and have set a localhost name too.  I've kicked off a "Test Management Network" and all four pings have failed.  Other laptops are connecting to the router fine.  And the network adapter is still saying "connected" - the nic's lights are on and the port on the router is on!

                                     

                                    B

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