Before diving into the problem I am having, let me give you a brief background. Previous to my current job, I would say I was pretty comfortable using VMware Workstation Pro 14 or 15. Having not worked in Lab environment before, I had not had any experience with VMware ESXi hypervisor 6.5 or 6.7. Over time, I have become increasing comfortable with the hypervisor and is now the primary "software" that we use on most of our servers in our lab. I also recently figured how to configure virtual standard switches in ESXi to be able to connect my VMs to different networks.
Since our lab is becoming more virtual rather than physical, we are at the point now, where we have a lot of different ESXi servers to manage. I would say around 60% of our servers are running hypervisors. While we only have about 20 servers, in our portion of the lab, as you can imagine that is a lot of different ESXi GUIs to log into. I also know that you can attach a hypervisor to Workstation Pro and manage your VMs from there, however that doesn't seem like the most appropriate way of doing things. Being able to have up to date template VMs (Windows Server, CentOS, etc) and being able to deploy VMs to any hypervisor would be a huge time saver.
This is where I think vSphere will come in handy. While I would much rather go with a hyper-converged solution, such as VxRail, those kinds of appliances are not exactly within our budget for this year; very pricey. As such this makes vSphere a necessarily evil, until we can afford an HCI solution. That being said I have a question about how to set up vSphere through the vCSA 6.7u3 web-interface (HTML version).
There are plenty of good guides for installing vCSA, and I was able to get it installed, but I am at a lost when it comes to virtual networking. There doesn't to be a lot of good post-config guides, and any of the guides I have found are very complex and hard to understand (networking has never really been by forte). In vSphere rather than virtual standard switches, you are suppose to use distributed virtual switches. I am not sure if I fully grasp the concepts of distributed switches, so let me give an example of what I would like to set up.
Since we work in a lab, we have lots of switches at our disposal. So rather than having to mess with VLANs and switchport security, we can just throw in another switch. Also, because of security reasons some of these networks are not allowed to communicate with each other, and therefore cannot be on the same switch or router. For simplicity I will refer to the networks that are allowed to communicate with each other in some capacity. Here is an example of a physical setup, that I would like to turn in a virtual counterpart in vSphere:
- Switch 1: Network = 100.100.1.0/24
- Switch 2: Network = 126.96.36.199/24
- Switch 3: Network = 188.8.131.52/24
- I have servers in the lab with 4 NICs, so each ethernet cable can go to a different network.
- These three networks communicate via NAT.
- All three networks have external access to the internet.
- Once configured in vSphere I would like to be able to attach one or more of these networks to the VMs of my choosing.
- Note: These networks are just examples, and not the actual networks I am using.
I would really appreciate some guidance on how to configure this, preferably step by step would be nice, since I not familiar with vSphere.
Thanks in advance for your help,
and hope everyone is staying safe and healthy