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.
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!
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.
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.