• 05 Building Webster’s Lab V2 – VMware ESXi Host Configuration

    May 28, 2021

    VMware

    Now that the host has a static IP address, you can begin more of the host’s configuration. You do the minimal configuration for now. Just enough to allow the installation of the vCenter Server Appliance in the following article.

    To continue, start an Internet browser and browse to your host’s IP address. For me, that is either https://192.168.1.53 or https://esxihost1.labaddomain.com (from my local hosts file).

    Most browsers should display an SSL certificate warning, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1
    Figure 1

    The warning is because, for now, the host is using a VMware self-signed SSL certificate. It is safe to ignore any warnings and proceed to connect to the host. For a Chromium-based browser, click Advanced and then click Proceed to <ip address> (unsafe) or Proceed to <fqdn> (unsafe), as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Log in using the root credentials you created during the initial ESXi installation and click Log in, as shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Decide whether to Join the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program and click OK, as shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Because I am taking screenshots and typing this article, I did turn off the timeout interval for the web console. Click the drop-down next to root@192.168.1.53 (or root@fqdn) and then hover the mouse pointer over Settings -> Application timeout and then click Off as shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Click Yes on the Warning popup as shown in Figure 6.

    Figure 6
    Figure 6

    The browser or the browser tab needs closing for the change to apply. Relaunch the browser or open another tab and log back into the host.

    The first thing needed is to license our host. Click Manage, as shown in Figure 7.

    Note: If you do not have a license key, you can use ESXi 7.0 in evaluation mode for 60 days.

    Figure 7
    Figure 7

    In the top-right frame, click the Licensing tab and then click Assign license, as shown in Figure 8.

    Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Enter your License key and click Check license as shown in Figure 9.

    Figure 9
    Figure 9

    If your License key is valid, click Assign license as shown in Figure 10.

    Figure 10
    Figure 10

    If the License key is not valid, as shown in Figure 11, try another License key.

    Figure 11
    Figure 11

    You now see all the licensed features, as shown in Figure 12.

    Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Now on to configuring Storage.

    My TinkerTry server has two local SSDs I use for datastores.

    In the browser’s left frame, click Storage, as shown in Figure 13.

    Figure 13
    Figure 13

    In the right browser frame, on the Datastores tab, click New datastore, as shown in Figure 14.

    Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Click Create new VMFS datastore and click Next, as shown in Figure 15.

    Figure 15
    Figure 15

    This local datastore is for Host Cache. I am selecting my 250GB SSD and entering the Name of ESXiHost1 Host Cache. Click Next, as shown in Figure 16.

    Figure 16
    Figure 16

    For the datastore File System, I am using VMFS 6.

    Select VMFS 6 from the drop-down list and click Next, as shown in Figure 17.

    Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Verify the information is correct and click Finish, as shown in Figure 18. If the information is not correct, click Back, correct the information, and then continue.

    Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Click Yes to confirm the erasing of the drive, as shown in Figure 19.

    Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Now for the local datastore for VMs.

    Click New datastore, as was shown in Figure 14.

    Click Create new VMFS datastore and click Next, as was shown in Figure 15.

    This local datastore is for VMs. I am selecting my 500GB SSD and entering the Name of ESXiHost1 Local VM datastore. Click Next, as shown in Figure 20.

    Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Select VMFS 6 from the drop-down list and click Next, as shown in Figure 21.

    Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Verify the information is correct and click Finish as shown in Figure 22. If the information is not correct, click Back, correct the information, and then continue.

    Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Click Yes to confirm the erasing of the drive, as was shown in Figure 19.

    At this point, previous versions of ESXi would show three datastores: the two we created and the one created by the installation of ESXi. As seen in Figure 23, with ESXi 7.0, the Datastores tab only shows the two datastores we created.

    Not seeing the local datastore in ESXi 7 is a known issue. Local Datastore not visible in ESXi 7

    Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Since we added a datastore for Host Cache, the Host configuration needs that datastore added.

    In the browser’s left frame, under Host, click Manage, as shown in Figure 24.

    Figure 24
    Figure 24

    In the right frame, click the System tab, click Swap and then click Edit settings, as shown in Figure 25.

    Figure 25
    Figure 25

    For the Datastore, Select the host cache datastore created earlier and click Save, as shown in Figure 26.

    Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Figure 27 shows the updated configuration.

    Figure 27
    Figure 27

    While on the System tab, you can set the NTP server.

    Click on Time & date and then click Edit NTP Settings, as shown in Figure 28.

    Note: There is a new option available in ESXi 7, using the Precision Time Protocol or PTP. This article from VMware explains VMware’s support of PTP. Let’s Be Precise: Enabling and Configuring Precision Time Protocol in vSphere. For a simple lab, there is no need for sub-microsecond time precision.

    Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Select Use Network Time Protocol (enable NTP client), for NTP service startup policy, select Start and stop with host, and for the NTP servers enter north-america.pool.ntp.org (or the NTP pool servers for your geographic area) and click Save as shown in Figure 29.

    Figure 29
    Figure 29

    In previous versions of ESXi, you could start the NTP service from the Actions menu item. That did not work on any of my ESXi 7.0 hosts. The only way I could start the NTP service was to restart the host.

    In the browser’s left frame, click Host, as shown in Figure 30.

    Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Click Actions, and click Enter maintenance mode, as shown in Figure 31.

    Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Note: VMware recommends placing an ESXi host in maintenance mode before shutting down or restarting a host. Please see this VMware documentation page. Reboot or Shut Down an ESXi Host in the VMware Host Client

    Always perform the following tasks before you reboot or shut down a host:

    • Power off all virtual machines on the host.
    • Place the host in maintenance mode.

    Click Yes in the Confirm maintenance mode change popup, as shown in Figure 32.

    Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Click Reboot, as shown in Figure 33.

    Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Click Reboot in the Reboot host popup, as shown in Figure 34.

    Figure 34
    Figure 34

    After the host completes the restart, log in to the host and, in the browser’s left frame, click Host, as shown in Figure 30. Click Actions, and click Exit maintenance mode, as shown in Figure 35.

    Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Up next: Install the VMware vCenter Server Appliance

     

     







    About Carl Webster

    Carl Webster is an independent consultant specializing in Citrix, Active Directory, and technical documentation. Carl (aka “Webster”) serves the broader Citrix community by writing articles (see CarlWebster.com) and by being the most active person in the Citrix Zone on Experts Exchange. Webster has a long history in the IT industry beginning with mainframes in 1977, PCs and application development in 1986, and network engineering in 2001. He has worked with Citrix products since 1990 with the premiere of their first product – the MULTIUSER OS/2.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

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