Creating a mini VMware Lab using VMware Workstation –
VMware vSphere 5.0 has finally arrived and includes several new unique features - such as Storage DRS and Autodeploy - that deliver unprecedented value to VMware customers. Unlike prior versions, vSphere 5 supports only the ESXi hypervisor architecture, the only thin purpose-built hypervisor that does not depend on a general purpose operating system.
Altogether, it’s an awesome server virtualization software from VMware. What we’ll do in this part of the blog series is set up the ESXi server as a VM on VMware Workstation 8. Later on, we’ll create a FreeNAS server too as a VM and connect the ESXi with it, creating a mini Lab!!
Steps to Install VMware vSphere 5 (ESXi 5) in VMware Workstation with Windows 7
VMware is one of the coolest virtualization software. It supports most of the operating systems as guest operating system. Microsoft Server operating systems such as windows 2008 and windows 2008 R2 also can be installed in VMware workstation. Here I’m going to show how you can install ESXi 5 server on VMware Workstation
1) Make sure your computer processor supports hardware Virtualization Technology (VT) and its enabled in BIOS. If not, enable it in BIOS and check whether the Operating System in sensing it.
Find out more information on how to enable VT-X.
It is enabled in my Intel processor computer which is running Windows 7 64bit.
Memory – vSphere 5 requires minimum 2GB memory for virtual machine, so make sure you have enough of physical memory to allocate for virtual machine and physical computer. I have 4GB physical memory in host.
2) Download the vSphere 5 (ESXi 5.0) and Client version 5 from official site HERE. Registration is required.
3) Create a new virtual machine in VMware workstation or player. Browse the ESXi 5.0 installable ISO file you downloaded. Unfortunately the OS type can’t be detected automatically in Workstation versions 7 and below, but it automatically detects the ESXi on Workstation 8. The one I am using.
4) Set the location of virtual machine and hard disk size also. Here is the summary of my ESXi 5 virtual machine. If you like to customize some settings, such as processor cores, network, sound and extra hard disks, then press ‘Customize Hardware’
NOTE: in order to utilize ESXi as a VM on VMware Workstation, the Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI option has to be enabled in the VM Settings à Processors section. In order for this option to work, your physical machine MUST support Virtualization Technology. To know more how to check whether your Machine supports VT, CLICK HERE
5) Start the virtual machine and select ‘Standard Installer’ option. Press ‘ENTER’ to continue the installation in next screen.
6) Press F11 for EULA. Select the disk to install if you have multiple virtual disks here. I created and started the vSphere 5 virtual machine with single 40GB disk.
Next screen will be to select the keyboard layout and type the root password. Its better to assign root password (which should be with minimum 7 characters) now.
7) Press Enter to continue the installation if you are sure your physical computer is having hardware virtualization enabled processor.
8.) Once installation completed, remove the ISO from CD drive of virtual machine and restart the VM. It should boot properly and receive DHCP IP as a management IP.
9) Press F2 to customize the server management settings. Enter the root password which was given during the installation.
You need to make sure the virtual machine’s network setting is configured properly to communicate with other hosts or guests. In my case, I will be accessing this vSphere 5 virtual machine from my host computer Windows 7, so I set up the network ‘Host-only’ network type in VMware network settings which will enable the host and guest network communication.
Check the connectivity by pinging the vSphere ESXi 5 server. I could ping to 192.168.2.219 from my physical windows 7 computer.
10) Access the server IP address in your internet browser. Ignore or continue the certificate error, you must be able to see the Getting start page which will redirect you to download vSphere 5 client.
Note- This will take you to VMware’s official site to download vSphere 5 client. If you already downloaded this client package (as shown in Step 2), then skip the download and install the client package.
11) After installing the latest Client version, enter the IP of server and root password. You can ignore certificate error here too.
12) Here is the working VMware vSphere 5 in VMware workstation with Windows 7. Performance is normal because I have only 4GB memory in host. No doubt, this is very helpful for learning and experiment purpose.
It’s always nice to have these type of server virtualization software in normal PCs and create virtual machines in it.
If you are interested in create and connect NAS (Network Access Storage) in same testing environment, you can install FreeNAS OS as a separate virtual machine and connect to vSphere 5.
In my next blog, i'll show you how to create a FreeNAS Storage Server on VMware Workstation and connect it with our created ESXi..