Tag Archives: nested esxi setup

Install ESXi through VMware Go

Since the folks over at the VMware Go team liked my first post so much, I figured I’d oblige and write up an article about how to install ESXi through VMware Go since they tweeted about it before I actually wrote it ūüôā

VMware Go, for those that missed the last post, is a cloud based service for small businesses and new VMware admins to help manage and setup their VMware environment. ¬†There are “two” ways to install ESXi from VMware go – by converting an existing Windows server/machine or downloading the ISO and installing manually. ¬†The later isn’t really installing “through” VMware Go but certainly a viable path, and then you can simply add the host once your install is finished.

Once logged into VMware Go, click on the Virtual tab and select Install an ESXi Hypervisor from the drop down menu.


Click the Get Started button on the next screen and provide the IP address of the Windows server you wish to convert and click the Next button.


VMware Go will connect to the IP address of the computer to determine if it is compatible, when prompted enter the username and password for that server.  The machine I tried to install on failed the compatibility check as you can see here:


Thankfully I am doing this in a VM so one second while I go reconfigure that machine…and we are back and the machine passed the test this time as you can see:


I popped in my hostname and opted for DHCP config. ¬†Make sure you pay attention to the warning – Windows will be gone! ¬†Make sure you backed up your data, settings etc… if you need anything from this server and click next. ¬†You will see a summary of the actions to be taken. ¬†If you are ready to take the plunge, click the Start ESXi Hypervisor Installation!

startAfter confirming you will blow away your Windows install, you will be prompted for the ESXi password you wish to set, and then need to enter the Windows credentials again.  You can see the task/download/install progress at the top of the screen:


Queue on hold music in your head….daaa na na naa naa na. ¬†Less than 20 minutes and a few reboots later I had an ESXi screen where my Windows login screen once appeared and can see the task completed in VMware Go.



VMware Go was even nice enough to add it to its inventory for me!  So thats it, without ever touching an ISO I nuked my Windows server and turned it into a functional ESXi server!.

Notes from a Nested ESXi 5 Setup

Guest Post by Kanji B.

These are some notes from my nested lab setup on a Dell OptiPlex 790 from (4x i5-2400 @ 3.10GHz, w/16GBs, and it supports VT!), I hope that these can help others in the VMware community doing the same.

I ran into my first gotcha quite early thanks to Dell’s love for bleeding edge NICs. ¬†It’s one of the few things that drives me nuts about Dell hardware, and I facepalmed as soon as ESXi threw up it’s “No network adapters detected” error so off I went to research how – or even if! – I could inject drivers into the ESXi install, and fortunately stumbled on someone who had already done so on the OptiPlex 790:-¬†http://bohemiangrove.co.uk/esxi-5-0-the-free-one/

A short while later, I had a fresh ESXi install and began installing my nested ESXi, when I ran into the SAME problem! WTF?!¬†The host ESXi had networking, so why wouldn’t the guests? ¬†Turns out that the default Adapter type for RHEL 6 (the Guest type which a few of the nesting guides suggest you base your ESXi guest on) is vmxnet3, and there’s no vmxnet3 driver in ESXi 5.0 and installing VMware Tools to get it wasn’t going to happen.

Poking around, I managed to fix it by using an E1000 adapter instead, and then noticed that virtuallyGhetto touched on this last month (http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2012/09/nested-esxi-51-supports-vmxnet3-network.html) as they noticed that 5.1 fixes this very issue. ¬†That solved, I took another stab at installing a nested ESXi, only to hit another showstopper when the installer didn’t detect any local or remote drives to install on. ¬†Poking around some more, I noticed that the SCSI Controller Type was set to VMware Paravirtual (not recommended for this guest OS), ugh, bitten by RHEL 6 defaults again… ¬†For reference, if you set it to LSI Logic Parallel, ESXi sees the provisioned drive as local; or remote if set to LSI Logic SAS.

Ironically, if I had just gone with Windows 2008 R2 x64 (the default Guest type), I wouldn’t have run into either issue, as VMware defaulted to a supported Adapter and SCSI Controller!