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Thursday, January 10, 2013

ESXi 5.1 Installtion

ESXi 5.1.0 - this is the latest Host Operating system available for vmware virtulization. 

You can always do a fresh installation of ESXi 5.1 in case you don't have any customization or complex configuration which is not identical across the hosts. 

The best way to upgrade from ESX 3.5 to 5.1 is first upgrade the host to ESX 4 and then upgrade it to ESXi 5.1 

You can use upgrade manager or ISO file to upgrade your hosts. 

Host profiles are used to maintain the consistent configuration across all the hosts. And remember this option is available only for Enterprise Plus Licenses. An alternative would be use evaluation license (60 days) and use host profile feature to maintain the consistency during the esx up-gradation process.

Things to remember before up gradation:
  1. Download the ISO file from vmware website . If you have HP hosts use HP customized ISO which have HP hardware monitoring agents embedded in the ISO file. It can be downloaded from HP web site .
  2. Make note on the iscsi targets ( this is important because if you have security configured on you MSA Box , ISCSI name is required , untill unless you dont want to re-configure you MSA box so that the ESX host can access your ISCSI disks)
  3. Make note of the Management IP address 
  4. Decide on the root password 
  5. Note down the vmotion IP address and the vlan info 

Fresh Installation  : 
Its is more or less its a straight forward Process . The GUI will guide you 
  1. Bring the host to Maintenance Mode
  2. Mount the ISO via ILO
  3. Reboot the ESX host  and boot it from the ILO
  4. DVD Boots, Press Enter to continue at the Welcome Screen
  5. Accept the End User License agreement
  6. After the files are loaded, the installer will find VMFS partition. Press Enter to continue.
    Note : Make sure you have selected the Local Disk . You would see even the Datastore attached to the host .
  7. You will be presented with 3 options. Choose, Install ESXi, preserver VMFS datastore”. Press Enter and F11 to confirm.
    >> upgrade ESXi , Preserve VMFS data store
    >> Install ESXi , Preserve VMFS data store
    >> Install ESXi , over write VMFS data store 
  8. Select the Key Board Layout
  9. Enter the required root Password
  10. Press F11 to begin the installation
  11.  When finished, you will get a confirmation message. Press Enter to reboot.
Initial Configuration :
More or less it’s a straight forward Process. The GUI will guide you 
  1. Press F2 on ESX host console
  2. Authenticate using root password , After authentication you would see customization wizard
  3. Hit configure management Network 
  4. Provide the required management vlan 
  5. provide management Ip address , subnet mask , gateway and the vlan info
  6. Enter primary and secondary DNS IP address 
  7. Commit the changes which will intern restart the management agent.  
  8. Reconnect the host in the vcenter 
  9. Create the switches ( only for first host in the cluster) 
  10. Configure the switches.
Create Host Profiles 
Host profile wizard will guide you to create a new host profile 
  1. Create a new Profile or import an existing host profile
  2. Specify the reference host 
  3. Give the relevant Name 
  4. Apply the host profile 
Apply Host Profile 
  1. Bring the host to Maintenance 
  2. Select the host to which the host profile need to applied 
  3. Right click and Hit  Manage profile 
  4. Select the host profile which needs to be applied.
  5. Right Click on the Host Icon, and then apply the profile.
  6. Host profile would ask the IP address of Vmotion and iscsi vm kernel ports.
  7. Change the Iscsi name ( used for security in the iscsi box and its unique)

Health Check 
  1. Check if up links are fine
  2. NIC connectivity  to Physical switch
  3. Check the Vmotion and Iscsi  IP address
  4. DNS entries
  5. Perform a test Vmotion and check connectivity 

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