Build Guide ESXi 5.0



  • Check that “virtualization technology” is enabled in the BIOS

Load ESXi software

  • Where possible download the vendors version of ESXi. For example Dell provide their own customized ISO that contains Dell specific settings for SNMP etc.
  • (Alternatively you can use the Dell Uniform Server Configurator – you will still need the Dell ESXi ISO however.

  • After downloading the ISO from the Dell Website I have booted the server off it and install ESXi.

  • Choose keyboard layout and enter root password

  • After reboot press F2 to enter the configuration screen

  • Configure the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS servers, hostname and suffix.


It is far, far easier to patch using virtual center if one is available.

Patching via command line

If the server connects to virtual center then I recommend using the “update” plugin to patch the host. Otherwise you will need to manually install the patches from the command line (either via the VMA or the vSphere CLI). Below are the commands to patch from the command line (warning it is likely that further patches will be released in addition to the below):

Please replace XXXX with the host ip address of your ESX server

Please replace YYYY with the root password –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b –server XXXX –username root –password YYYY -i -b

Patching Using VC

You will need to have the update manager plugin install on the VC.

Then use the update manager tab to patch the servers.

Install Custom Updates

If using a Dell server download and install the Equallogic Openmanage VIB.

Import the patch into the repository

Create a baseline for the patch


If you haven’t got the Vmware VI client installed on your PC already you will then want to download the VI client to enable you to manage this server. You can get this by opening a web browser and entering in the IP of the ESXi server (as shown in the diagram above).

Although I have configured the below settings via vi client you can also set these on the console of the ESXi server.

  • Click on the link highlighted above and install the VI client. Note that this downloads the client from the web and not from this server. It may take a few minutes.
  • Once installed open the vi client and connect to the ESXi server IP as shown below. Note the default username is root with no password.

You may now want to customise your install.

Add other NICs to vSwitch:

This will improve performance and add a degree of fault tolerance with the network cards.

Setup NTP:

Note that VMs will likely pickup the time from the ESXi server so it is important the time is correct

I recommend using the NTP servers:-


License VMware:

You will need to Register with Vmware and they will email you a license. Once you have this you can enter this on the below screen.

Setup iSCSI

If connecting to an iSCSI SAN you will need to setup iSCSI.

Create VMkernal ports

As below. Note the iSCSI heartbeat port must have the lowest vmk number.

Enable jumbo frames (if used on iSCSI network).

Change the MTU for the vSwitch

For each port group change the MTU to 9000

Change each of the iSCSI port groups to use an active and standby adapter. Each (iSCSI) port group should use a different active and unused adapter. i.e. the active adapter on iSCSI 1 is the unused adapter on iSCSI 2 and vice versa.

Add and Enable iSCSI adaptor

An iSCSI software adaptor should appear. Go into the properties of this and bind with VMkernel adapters.

Setup CHAP (If used)

Bind VMkernel ports

Connect to SAN

In the below example I have entered the Group IP of the iSCSI SAN

You should then rescan the adaptor

You should now be able to see LUNs from the SAN

Setup vMotion

In a multiple server environment with shared storage (e.g. SAN) you will want to setup vMotion to enable live migration of VMs.

Add a new (VMkernel) vSwitch and select the VMNIC you have setup for vMotion

Allocate a range on the vMotion subnet, click next and finish.


Health Monitoring (If using Virtual Center)

You can configure virtual center to send email alerts for specific events. You will need to setup your email server to allow smtp relay from the virtual center server. This is setup at the VC level so may already be enabled.

Configure Virtual Center Server settings

Configure the alert you want to be emailed about

Setup Scratch Location (if installed on SD or USB card)

VMWare recommend a persistant scratch location for temporary data such as logs, diagnostics, system swap etc. If you have install ESXi on an SD or USB card there may be no space for this. In this instance I have created a LUN specifically for scratch data.

Create a folder on the LUN for the new server

Go to “advanced settings” then “ScratchConfig” and specify the location you have just created (i.e. /vmfs/volumes/DatastoreName/foldername)

You will need to reboot for these changes to take effect.


Add other NICs to vSwitch0

It is recommended to add multiple NICs to vSwitch0 (to enable VMs to communicate over multiple NICs).


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