Welcome to part 2 of this multi part series on Installing VMware ESXi5. In this part we will go over configuring the ESXi host Management Network. In part 1 we went over installing the ESXi hypervisor onto the host. Now we will configure the ESXi host so that we can take advantage of the vSphere Client to manage the host. We will be configuring this to use two NICs in a team which is best practice.
The first step is to setup the host management network. Please note that in order to get the screen shots, I am using a virtual machine that is loaded on my laptop so some of the information like processor speed, or amount of RAM will not match up. From the Direct Console User Interface, or DCUI, hit the F2 button to customize the system.
When prompted type in the password for the root account. This was the password that you had set in the installation in part 1.
This will take you into the System Customization menu. Arrow down to Configure Management Network. You will notice in the left that there already is an ip address that was set by DHCP. This is not recommended. We will be going in and assigning a static address. Hit Enter.
This will take us to the Configure Management Network screen. You will default to network adapters. Hit Enter
This will take us to the Network Adapters screen, where we can select which network adapters are going to be used for your management network. It is VMware best practice to use 2 network adapters in your management network.
It is important when selecting the management network adapters that you select ones that are on different adapter cards. In my case I have a server with 4 internal NIC adapters on the motherboard, and 2 NIC adapters that are on a PCI expansion card. Therefore, I will be using vmnic0 and vmnic4 to make sure that they are on different pieces of hardware. The best way to test this is to physically connect only the adapters that you want to use for your management network first. This way they will be the only adapters that show up as connected.
Arrow down to the other network adapter that you will use as the redundant management network adapter and hit the space bar to select it. Then hit enter
Also note whenever possible to make sure that the two network adapters go to two separate switches on the network. Redundancy is the name of the game!
This will take you back to the Configure Management Network screen. In our example we are setting this up for an IPv4 network. Arrow down to the IP Configuration option and hit enter.
This will take you to the IP Configuration tab, arrow down to Set static IP address and network configuration and hit the space bar to select that.
Then arrow down to IP Address and type in the static IP address you want the management network to have. Note that the 2 nics are automatically teamed.
Next arrow down to the subnet mask and fill in the appropriate information.
Finally arrow down to the Default Gateway and fill in the appropriate information.
When this is all filled out hit enter.
This will take you back to the Configure Management Network, arrow down to DNS Configuration and hit enter.
You will then see the DNS Configuration screen. Arrow down to Use the following DNS server addresses and hostname. Hit the space bar to select that.
Arrow down to the Primary DNS Server and fill in the appropriate information.
Arrow down to the Alternate DNS Server and fill this in if appropriate.
Arrow down to the Hostname and type in the host name for this system. Typically if you are integrating this into an active directory environment you will later want to create a DNS record for this as well, to allow for name resolution.
Hit Enter to accept the configurations.
This will take you back to the Configure Management Network, hit esc to exit this screen. You will then see the Configure Management Network: Confirm screen. Hit Y for Yes. This will cause your management network to restart.
Hit Esc to log out.
That is all there is to it. You now have an ESXi host configured with redundant NIC for the management network. Next we will look at downloading the vSphere Client from our ESXi host web interface, installing it on our workstation, and then going into advanced configurations.