Tag Archives: vmware go

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.

installesxi

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.

installIP

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:

hardwarefail

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:

hardwarepass

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:

download

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.

taskdone

 

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!.

Cloud Management of VMware hosts using VMware Go for new admins and SMBs

VMware Go is a is a cloud based management solution for (small) vSphere deployments and includes features such as  the IT Advisor, ESXi and vCenter installation automation and patch/inventory scanning (though my free version is prompting me to upgrade to Go Pro for those right now).

As I am setting up a new lab environment, I thought I would poke around at some of the features.  I did a basic ESXi install leaving all the defaults.  As I drill into the inventory for this host, VMware Go identified two potential configuration problems I should correct Рsetting an NTP server and changing the IP address.

host

Typically the IP address could be set via the vSphere Client, DCUI or command line and NTP via the DCUI or command line, but VMware Go is targeted (IMO) towards the small business or IT shops with little to no VMware experience so having the ability to set these items via a web interface seems very useful.  Click the Apply NTP Settings button worked flawlessly for the suggested NTP server (you may want to use an internal NTP source in your environment).

ntp

There is an import VM feature, but this only works from a VMware Server instance (VMware on Windows) and since that has long since been out to pasture, not sure how useful that would be. ¬†Being able to communicate with VMware Converter running on the network seems like it would be a more useful feature. ¬†I also have the ability to scan the host for patches, since I installed the latest 5.1 release there were none to install so I downloaded 4.1 Update 2. ¬†Adding the host was again easy and straight forward, though the NTP setting originally threw an error but trying to apply again worked correctly. ¬†Running a patch scan worked as expected this time, I found the missing patches and automated shutting down VMs, putting the host into maintenance mode and rebooting the server. ¬†One thing to remember, these are “updates” not “upgrades” so you cannot bring a 4.1 host up to 5.1 or even bringing a 5.0 hosts up to 5.1.

patches41

One feature I would like to see, especially for the small IT shop who isn’t comfortable managing ESXi directly is the ability to rename the hosts, currently both my hosts are named “localhost” and have the ability to to manage other basic IP settings such as subnet mask, DNS servers and gateways.

If the free version from VMware Go is nothing else, its a great tool to keep your ESXi hosts up to date with latest patches. ¬†As I get further in my lab setup (vCenter etc…) I will write up additional features that are available in VMware Go and activate my VMware Go Pro trial.