VCP 4 prep objective 1.1 – Install VMware ESX/ESXi on local storage

Objective 1.1 – Install VMware ESX/ESXi on local storage

-Identify the minimum hardware requirements

64bit x86 processor with virtualisation extensions enabled

2GB RAM (ESXi 3GB is required if the host has been upgraded and managed by vCenter)

Broadcom netxtreme or Intel PRO 1000 network adapters

Adaptec Ultra 160 / 320 SCSI adapter or similar e.g. LSI logic
Fibre Channel adapters e.g. qlogic qlaxxxx or qlexxxx
ISCSI – hardware ISCSI is supported for ESX installation

SATA or SAS – The disks must be connected to a supported SAS or SATA controller
IDE or ATA – The disks must be connected to a supported IDE or ATA controller

In the minimum configuration the disk / LUN can be shared between the service console and virtual machines
VMFS. It is not recommended that the service console VMDK be placed on a shared disk and It is not recommended that SATA be used to back a VMFS datastore across multiple hosts.

Enhancing performance of ESX/ESXi:
More RAM for the service console if 3rd party applications will be installed (minimum allocation 272MB upto a maximum of 800MB) – ESXi requires 2GB for the hypervisor.
Dedicated gigabit connectivity
Dedicated virtual machine storage i.e. dedicated VMFS datastore.
Processors with large caches can improve performance

-Download, prepare and validate installation media

Media can be downloaded from the media can be validated using the MD5 checksum or during the installation using the validate media wizard.

-Determine appropriate ESX/ESXi configuration in a given situation

-Obtain required information for an environment

Keyboard layout – this is required and is US English by default

VLAN ID – optional requirement, valid values are 1 – 4094; VLAN ID 0 disables VLAN tagging and VLAN ID 4095 enables VLAN trunking

Networking – the network configuration can be dynamically or statically assigned.

Host name – required if using a static address

Install location – required; see custom disk layout for more info.

Datastore – required in advanced setup; basic setup will creates /vmfs to host the service console; ESXi doesn’t have a service console.

root password – the root password must be between 6 and 64 characters in length. 

-Verify hardware against the VMware hardware compatibility list (HCL)

Before purchasing any hardware it is highly recommended to check here first:

-Perform a custom installation

-Customise storage layout for given situations


The service console VMDK should be a minimum of 8GB (10GB if using a single disk) in size; consider partitioning
the disk as follows:
/ 5GB – exists within the virtual disk
/boot 1.25GB (1.1GB for boot and 110MB for vmkcore or 100MB per host if multiple hosts share storage) – physical partition
/swap 600MB > 1.6GB – exists within the virtual disk
/home 512MB – exists within the virtual disk
/tmp 1024MB – exists within the virtual disk
/usr no recommended size – exists within the virtual disk
/var/log – 2GB – exists within the virtual disk


If you’re installing everything on one disk then ensure at least 5GB is free.

No option to perform a custom installation but you can reconfigure the scratch partition once the installation is complete; the scratch partition is used for vm-support and VMware HA user world swap location.

-Configure ESXi from the direct console

The ESXi direct console allows you to configure a number of settings, such as:

  • Setting the root user password; by default no password is set. To set a password select configure password enter a password in the new password field, confirm and press enter.
  • Setting up networking; by default the ESXi host will attempt DHCP, if no DHCP server is available the ESXi host will assign an IP address from 169.254.x.x/16
    • To configure a static IP addressing select configure management network > IP configuration > set static IP address and network configuration
    • To configure the DNS configuration select configure management network > DNS configuration > Use the following DNS server addresses and hostname
    • To configure custom DNS suffixes select configure management network > custom DNS suffixes
  • Setting up the management network; by default the management network will use vmnic(o[zero]) and blank VLAN ID
    • To configure a different management interface select configure management network >network adapters > enter
    • To configure a VLAN ID select configure management network > VLAN > enter a VLAN ID between 1 and 4095 > enter
  • Setting up the keyboard layout; select configure keyboard press enter then select the layout, use the space bar to select your preferred layout
  • Setting up lockdown mode; lockdown mode ensures the ESXi host is managable via vCenter only; when lockdown mode is enabled you cannot run vCLI commands from an admin server, script or vMA.
    • to configure lockdown mode; select Configure Lockdown Mode > press enter > Enable Lockdown Mode > press enter.
  • Setting up troubleshooting services (local and remote tech support mode); select Troubleshooting Options > press enter and select either local or remote tech support mode.

Run a number of tests, such as:

  • Test the management network; to test the management network select Test Management Network
    •  The tests are as follows: ping default gateway
    • ping primary DNS server
    • ping secondary DNS server
    • resolve configured host name
  • View system logs
    • Press a corresponding number to view a log
    • press enter or the space bar to scroll
    • to use regular expressions to search press / > enter the search text > press enter
    • press q to quit

Restart a number of services, reset configuration etc. such as:

  • Restart management agents; to restart the management agents select Restart Management Agents > press enter > F11 to confirm
    • The restart task  restarts the following:
      • hostd – the main service which allows connections to the VMKernel
      • ntpd – the network time protocol daemon
      • sfcbd – VMware host management interface daemon
      • slpd – service location protocol
      • wsman – Web Services management
      • vobd – ?
      • aam – the VMware HA agent
  • Restart the management network; to restart the management network select Restart Management Nework > press enter > F11 to confirm
  • Reset the standard switch; to restore the standard switch select Restore Standard Switch > press enter > F11 to confirm
    • The standard switch should be restored if the distributed switch is no longer needed or functioning, the standard switch needs to be repaired or restore or the ESXi host should no longer be managed by vCenter.
  • Reset the system configuration; to reset the system configuration select Reset System Configuration > press enter > F11 to confirm

-Configure ESX/ESXi NTP

ESX and ESXi NTP configuration can be primarily configured through the vSphere client; from within configuration tab select time configuration click edit. ESX also allows you to configuration NTP configuration via the service console e.g. edit the following configuration file [vi|nano] /etc/ntp.conf
type- server 0 {FQDN of NTP server}
save and exit.
restart the service: type- service ntpd restart

-Compare / Contrast VMware vSphere editions

Essentials edition gives you the following:

Update manager, vCenter agent, thin provisioning, 4-way SMP, vStorage API for Data Protection, ESXi and ESX.

Essentials plus edition gives you the following:

As above with data recovery, high availability, vMotion (4.1).

Standard edition gives you the following:

as above with 6 processor socket limit and 256GB RAM limit.

Advanced edition gives you the following:

as above with vShield zones, fault tolerance, hot add functionality, 12 processor socket limit and 256GB RAM limit.

Enterprise edition gives you the following:

as above with distributed resource scheduling, distributed power management, storage vMotion, vStorage API for MPIO, vStorage API for array integration, 6 processor socket limit and 256GB RAM limit.

Enterprise plus edition gives you the following:

as above with host profiles, distributed switch, 8-way SMP and 12 processor limit and 256GB RAM limit.

-Manage ESX/ESXi licensing

Licence keys are assigned to ESX and ESXi via the vSphere client; from the configuration tab select licenced features and click edit.
You can view the current licensing information from the vSphere client (in the same location as above) for both ESX and ESXi; ESXi licensing information can also be viewed via the direct console from within the support information section.

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