4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2017 6:08 AM by bwilsey84

    ESXI 5.5 Host

    bwilsey84 Novice

      My team is comprised of several individuals and we are all pretty new to VMware. In a step to get our feet wet I was tasked with trying to spin-up a ESXI host and get some virtual machines running on it and try to play around and get them all to communicate. The only issue is I was given a box to use and thats it. I don't even have a network so basically all I have is a HP z840 with ESXi 5.5 installed on it. I can't actually put this play server on our production network either. Are there any tips to actually configure this host? Can you do a direct connect to a ESXi host with a workstation. Both of which would basically be standalones. I didnt even have any network in our workspace to do any research while I was there working on the project. I have media for Server 2012 R2 and was really hoping to get this going so we can play around and start learning about VMware.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: ESXI 5.5 Host
          bluefirestorm Virtuoso

          With a physical installation of ESXi, at least two physical machines connected via a network would be the minimum. One for the ESXi itself and the other to run the VMs and the administrative client. Otherwise with just one physical machine, all you see is the grey-gold screen after ESXi bootup. Sure, you can go to the ESXi command line but that's pretty much it if there is only one physical box.

           

          Alternatively, you could install VMware Workstation Pro (either for Linux or Windows) in the z840 and create an ESXi VM. Then you would create the VMs within that ESXi VM. This would be nested virtualisation. There are obviously advantages/disadvantages to this. Example advantage, you could add as much virtual NICs to the ESXi VM as oppose to physical NIC you need to find quad-port cards, etc. Example disadvantage, features that require actual hardware such as PCIe device passthrough to VMs won't be available.

           

          You can connect directly to the ESXi host from another workstation through the host client via a browser (https://<ESXi IP>/ui). Workstation Pro also allows connecting to ESXi, upload/download of VMs to/from an ESXi (be it physical or an ESXi that is a VM itself); running of VMs from the ESXi through Workstation Pro.

           

          I am not sure if the free VMware Workstation Player supports ESXi as a VM; but Workstation Pro is available for 30 day free evaluation.

          • 2. Re: ESXI 5.5 Host
            bwilsey84 Novice

            Ahh thats what I thought! I was wondering what I was supposed to do with a standalone host.. I was thinking how am I actually going to connect into this host box and start to make VMs. Our z840 has the physical installation of ESXi already. Would we be able to setup a simple switch connect the host and another workstation for the admin client to that switch? Or would we be in need of an actual mini test network built for it.. Thank you for your help! Sorry I am very new to this and trying to dive in head first right from the get go!

            • 3. Re: ESXI 5.5 Host
              bluefirestorm Virtuoso

              If you have another workstation and a simple switch, you can hook them up together in the same network.

               

              ESXi 5.5 still has the vSphere Client 5.5 (for Windows platforms only) to perform administrative tasks on the ESXi. With ESXi 6.5, this thick client is no longer available.

               

              ESXi 5.5 now has a VIB for the Embedded Host Client. I don't think it is available in the out-of-the-box ESXi 5.5 installation. For the embedded host client, all you need is a browser, so the workstation won't be restricted to Windows; although experience (both good and bad) will vary.

               

              So you can use the vSphere Client or the embedded host client from the other workstation.

               

              The following are the download links.

               

              https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client

              Download URLs for VMware vSphere Client (2089791) | VMware KB

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: ESXI 5.5 Host
                bwilsey84 Novice

                I will be sure to bring this all up.. Im pretty new to this office but I will let me know a host box with ESXi on it simply isn't enough. We need some sort of network for management. I imagine I'll be using the VSphere Client or maybe a web client for management but its pretty obvious our missing gap is a darn network. I believe our team has a pretty diverse background in a myriad of things unfortunately VMware isn't one of them.