Building an ESXi server

vmwareVMware ESXi is the leading vm platform.  Schools will find this an excellent route into receiving all the benefits of having a virtual infrastructure.

Building an ESXi 4 server is easier than ever.  Whereas version 3.5 would only install on hardware that was included in the VMware HCL, version 4 will install on a much wider variety of hardware with the important caveat that it still won't be supported by VMware if the hardware isn't on the HCL.

You can try VMware Server if ESXi won't install on your tin.


All hard drives in the new server will be wiped and given over for ESXi to use.



The install process takes approx 5 minutes, depending on your hardware.

  1. Download the latest version of ESXi 4.
  2. Create a CD from the iso file.
  3. Boot your machine from the CD.
  4. Choose ESXi Installer.
  5. On the welcome screen press Enter to install.
  6. Press F11 to accept and Continue.
  7. On the Select a Disk screen, use the up and down arrows to select the correct disk, and press Enter to continue.
  8. Press F11 to install.
  9. Press Enter to reboot the server (remember to remove the CD so that you don't end up installing it all again!).



    Now that you've installed ESXi 4, you will need to perform some initial configuration directly on the server, before leaving it to be managed entirely from a browser in a Windows client machine.

    1. After bootup press F2 to customise the system.
    2. Select System Customization > Configure Password and press Enter to set a new password (very important as by default a password is not set).
    3. System Customization > Configure Management Network and press Enter.
      1. Network Adapters and press Enter to select the adapters that will be used by this host for its management network.
      2. IP Configuration and press Enter.
      3. Choose Set static IP address and network configuration by using the up and down arrows and pressing the space bar.  Press the down arrow to manually set the IP Address, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway (eg,,
      4. DNS Configuration - Set the Primary DNS Server, Alternate DNS Server, and the Hostname for this ESXi server (eg, blank, esxi-01.yourdomain.local).
      5. Custom DNS Suffixes- Add your own suffixes as required (eg yourdomain.local).
      6. Press ESC to exit, and press Y to restart the management services with your new settings.
      7. Press ESC to logout and return to the main screen.


      What next?

      1. You will now be able to use a browser to install the vSphere Client.
      2. You can start configuring your new host.

      You'll find the pdfESXi-5.0 Host Management Guide.pdf useful at this stage.


      Thanks for visiting.