2020.03.30 – Building a VMware vSphere Virtual Lab with VMware Fusion – Part 1: Installing ESXi VM

Overview

I read a blog and I plan to apply all info and steps. I will publish all I do!

Mine lab parts:

GraspingTech’s helping guid:

Information

I have receive these help email related to RAM configuration for ESXi:

In order to power on 3 ESXi virtual machines at the same time on your Mac, you will need to reduce the memory of them to the minimum of 4096 MB. This can be done by clicking Settings of each VM and then assigning the amount in Processors and Memory.

The most you can power on is three with the following settings:

  • esxi01 – 8192 MB —> for this esxi I used the same, meaning 4096 MB
  • esxi02 – 4096 MB
  • esxi03 – 4096 MB

If you want to power on vCenter as well, you can deploy it directly to the ESXi host with the most memory (esxi01). —> I’ve installed and use vCenter into VMware Fusion but out of ESXi, using with ±6300 MB RAM.

Step-by-step installation and configuration of ESXi 6.7 VM

Now that I’ve created the custom networks and modified the hosts file, I’m ready to create the ESXi virtual machine and install the hypervisor.

Step 1. Creating a VMware vSphere ESXi 6.7 virtual machine with VMware Fusion

This blog’s article helps me: How to install ESXi 6.7 on a MacBook Pro with VMware Fusion

I open VMware Fusion and then I click on the + icon in the toolbar.

I click New…

I select Create a custom virtual machine and then I click Continue.

I select VMware ESX then VMware ESXi 6.x and then Continue.

I leave the firmware type as UEFI and then I click Continue.

I click Continue to create a 40 GB virtual disk.

I click the Customise Settings button so that I can attach the ISO. Then I will be asked to save the virtual machine. I give it a name and then I click Save.

Once the VM was saved, the settings screen start and load. I click on CD/DVD (IDE).

I click on the dropdown and I select the Choose a disc or disc image… option.

I brows to the VMware ESXi ISO that I’ve downloaded and then I click Open.

I tick the Connect CD/DVD Drive option and then I close the settings window.

I was ready to install vSphere VMWare ESXi 6.7 on a VMware Fusion virtual machine.

I click the play icon to start the ESXi virtual machine I’ve created and I wait for the VMware ESXi hypervisor to load.

I press Enter at the welcome screen.

I can’t press F11 to accept the EULA and to continue the installation. I’m not able to use the FN key to get F11 inside a virtual machine on the Mac.

But I cam send F11 to the virtual machine by clicking Virtual MachineSend Key and then click on F11.

  • TIP:
    • I can remove the keyboard focus from the virtual machine by pressing Control + Command on a Mac.

I choose the disk I want to install ESXi on and then I press Enter.

I select a keyboard layout and then I press Enter.

I entered a password for the root user and then I press Enter.

I send the F11 key to the virtual machine again to confirm and finish the installation. Then I press Enter to reboot the virtual machine and load ESXi for the first time.

ESXi 6.7 should now be installed and ready to configure.

Step 2: Configuring the ESXi management network

As I can see from the last image in the previous step, the management IP address of mine’d ESXi host is 192.168.197.148. This is because I have the network adapter connected to a VMware Fusion network that has DHCP enabled.

I want to change the IP and configure it using the steps coming up. I will change the DHCP’s IP to a static IP so that I know it won’t change when the host reboots.

To configure the network I press F2 and then I login with mine root password.

I select Configure ESXi Management Network and then I press Enter.

I select IPv4 Configuration and then I press Enter.

I change the IP type to static by highlighting the Set static IPv4 address and network configuration and then I press Space. I type in the IP address, subnet mask and default gateway then I press Enter.

  • TIP:
    • I can find out the gateway by running ifconfig at the Terminal and by adding 1 to the inet address of the vmnet8 interface. For example 10.1.1.1 so the gateway is 10.1.1.2.
    • I’ve changed my network address and disabled DHCP by editing the /Library/Preferences/VMware Fusion/networking config file and restarting VMware Fusion.

I select the DNS Configuration and then I press Enter.

I select Use the following DNS server addresses and hostname by pressing Space. I type in the gateway IP in the Primary DNS Server box and the I name of the host in the hostname box and then I press Enter.

I press ESC to exit the network configuration screen. I am asked to confirm the changes by pressing Y. I press ESC again to exit settings and I see the IP address I can use to manage the host.

Theoretically I can test the connection from the host to the ESXi virtual machine works by typing the address in a web browser. But not working. Maybe I have to go further and configure Network Adapter as in the blog page I use to get help. And also I will restart my MacBook Pro completely …. as in past I had this problem and maybe restarted helped me!

Step 3. Create network adapters and assign to custom networks

If I followed the Step 1, I should now have a VM called esxi04 with ESXi 6.7 installed. I notice that there’s only one network adapter and it won’t be connected to any of the custom VMware Fusion networks I created. I need to add two new Network Adapters to the VM.

I use right click on the esxi04 VM and I click Settings…

I click Add Device… and then I add two new Network Adapters, so there are three like shown in the image below.

I configure the first two so they are connected to the vSphere network.

And the last one so its connected to the WAN.

While I’m in the settings screen, I change the memory so that it has 4096 MB.

I will use the existing ESXi_01_6.x with 10240 MB meaning 10 GB memory for the first host when deploying the vCenter Server appliance in Part 3 of the series.

Step 4. Modify the ESXi management network

I configure the management network so that it uses two network adapters for redundancy and the correct IP and DNS configuration.

I login to the ESXi host, I navigate to the Configure Management Network screen, then I click Network Adapters.

I assign vmnic0 and vmnic1 then I press Enter.

I navigate to the IP configuration screen and IP address. And I make sure the gateway is the same as the IP address of the firewall (10.1.1.251).

I navigate to the DNS configuration screen and for the primary DNS server I use the same IP address as the firewall.

Finally, I navigate to the Custom DNS suffixes screen and I enter my domain name.

Now I can’r use Firefox browser to open ESXi installed. I have to close all and restart MacBook Pro.

After restarting MacBook Pro, I power-on ESXi. As everything is been configured correctly, I view and use the login page of the ESXi host by entering the FQDN into a browser.

Step 5. Verify and include the licence key

I navigate to ESXi, click manage inside Navigate, click Licensing and I find the place where I can insert the License key.

I search on internet, VMware Company, the license I want to use.

I open VMware page and in up-right I click Login button.

After login I see in the right Quick Links and I click on License Keys.

I click on Home to open all License Keys I have and then I click on vSphere 6 Essentials.I find the License key and I save it into my MacBook Pro for next step.

I go back into Firefox > ESXi, click on Assign licenses and enter/paste the license. I click Create license.

I receive a correct answer and I click Assign license.

The License is established.

Conclusion

After working through the steps in this first tutorial I am now on my way to building a fully functional vSphere Lab on a MacBook that’s portable. I’ll soon be able to test mine some of the best features of vSphere, things like VMotion, Storage VMotion and high availability etc.