Install vSphere ESX 4.0 with EDA Deployment appliance

I’ve seen a few other guides for this same type of install. I just wanted to put something together to save for myself. I will show you how to use the EDA deployment appliance to install vSphere in VMware Workstation. You can follow most of the same steps for a physical machine install with just a few changes.

For this I was testing things for my home lab and created this on my laptop just using Workstation 7.0. I created two virtual machines, one for the EDA appliance and one blank that will get ESX 4.0 installed from the Deployment script.

Step 1: Download the EDA appliance http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/va/89313/download

Step 2: Import the EDA virtual appliance into VMware workstation.

Step 3: After the input I had to add in a CD-Rom to the VM and attached the vSphere .iso file to the CD drive.

Step 4: You can then start up the EDA appliance and choose Reconfigure.

Step 5: Fill out your network information on the screen shown below. Then press enter or click on OK.

Step 6: You can now log into the configuration web page for the EDA appliance. In my configuration it was http://192.168.1.19
The default login for the page is root  –  root. You will be presented with several sections that will allow you to configure options for the install. I will briefly cover these parts as I did not change much on them for this test. The Post installation commands section allows you to script any custom changes or adds that you want to make for your install. The General settings section is used for basic network and disk settings for each install, this section is pretty easy to understand.

Step 7: Now you are ready to prepare the Host specific details. Refer to the image below as I describe the steps. You can either modify the sample host that is loaded by default. By clicking on the host name or selecting “new host” you will get a screen like the 2nd picture below. This will allow you to specify host name and IP addresses needed for your base install. Once created if you click on the “ks” link for the hostname you will see what the kick start file contains for commands.

Step 8: Now you will need to setup the options for the DHCP server. Upon clicking on the “configure DHCP server” link from the top menu you will be presented with the following configuration file. I highlighted a few of the important lines that I changed to work for my setup. You will need to make sure all of the normal DHCP options are set in this file.

Step 9: Now you will need to “import PXE files” so that you can boot the server that you will be installing ESX onto. You need to make sure that the ESX CD or .iso file is mounted to your EDA appliance. If the ESX disc or file is properly mounted you will see the confirmation in the top right just like the image below. Then you select the “Import PXE bootfiles” from the menu and you will see a screen like the second image below.

Step 10:  If you are using a physical server to install onto you can start now and have the machine PXE boot.
If you are going to use a virtual machine you need to create a VM with the proper OS select, disk size, memory and number of Nic’s that you wish to use. Once this is done you will see a screen like the one below you start the install. I trust that you know what settings need to be used for installing ESX into VMware workstation, if not there are plenty of good guides for it. If you are using Workstation 7.x the process is now built in and very easy to select from the OS choices.

Note: If you created multiple host install names you will get presented with the options and can type the name of the one you wish to install. I circled in red above as an example.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMworld 2010 Content Catalog now available for your enjoyment

If your lucky enough to be heading to one of the VMworld shows this year or thinking of buying the access to the content on the VMworld website for recorded sessions.

This year’s batch of breakout sessions and labs look to be innovative, technical deep dive, best practices, and partner sessions to be presented at VMworld should satisfy just about anyone.

You can see the VMware Content Catalog here.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware showing off more on Storage IO control coming in vSphere 4.1

With more talk about Storage IO Control (SIOC) each month, VMware is starting to leak more details about the feature. The best write up on the feature was by Scott Drummonds last month that you can read here.  With SIOC you will be able to have almost a quality of service for VM’s in regards to storage IO control. With a very simple setup showcased in the video below you can level the playing field so that something happening in one virtual machine does not monopolize all of the storage bandwidth and starve other machines.

A few things to keep in mind for now. That SIOC is enabled per datastore, does not have a reservation limit at this time, only enforces limits when a threshold is reached and can enforce limits for IOPS when specified at the VM level.  Thanks to Duncan for these details.

In the images below you can get an idea of how Storage IO Control is working along with Shares applied to Virtual Machines to stop any VM from hogging all of the IO.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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The need to clean up a cloned Virtual Machine

In working with a client recently I noticed that they are cloning virtual machines and it’s causing issues with their tool set. This really came to light when working with their XenApp servers. The Citrix team was building servers loaded with apps to create a template that could be cloned to create the other servers in a application pool. The issue with this is that the team was using existing servers already in production that already had the tools installed on them. The problem came to light with issues from the tools used to protect and monitor the virtual machines. This would not be an issue with standard OS templates already created that would have the tools added after the cloning process.

When cloning the virtual machine there are still a lot of registry entries left over with the old server name for tools like Opsware, McAfee and an asset mgmt application. These old registry entries would cause the new VM to knock the old VM out of the tools console and cause issues with reporting and management of the source server. For example Opsware would start talking to the newly cloned server thinking it was the source server and this would leave the source machine not in the patching scheduled.

To clean this up it was necessary to uninstall these tools from the new virtual machine then go back through the registry and clean up any entries that referenced the old server name. Then reboot the server and reinstall the tools. This will clean up the issues and allow everything to work without conflicting with the source server.

So for future requests of this type they have agreed to either use a base OS build and load applications on by hand or create their Citrix template with applications and clone prior to installing any monitoring applications. This will eliminate the issues that they had been experiencing.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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The VCAP4-DCA Exam Blueprint is now available to download

The first exam in the new VMware intermediate series has released the Blueprint document. Blueprints are intended to give you a list of topics that are covered on the exam. So that if you are well versed in these topics you should do well on your exam. For this type of exam there is no substitute for real world experience or hundreds of hours of lab time.

The VCAP4-DCA is the VMware Certified Advanced Professional exam focused on Datacenter Administration. This is going to raise the level for VCP’s who want to show that they know their stuff. The exam is 100% hands on lab based exam material.  The VDCA410 exam consists of approximately 40 live lab activities and a short pre‐exam survey consisting of 9 questions. Live lab activities consist of multiple tasks, where each task is scored. The total number of activities provided is based on the total number of tasks. Because of this, the actual number of lab activities may vary slightly between exams.

The scoring for the exam is not fully worked out until after the Beta period is over. The scale for scoring this exam will be like other exams and will have a range from 100-500.

For now the exam is available in English and countries where English is one of the languages will get an additional 15 minutes of time for the exam.  The retake policy will require someone to wait 10 business days before they are able to try again. Something different or at least I have not noticed this before is that once you achieve a passing score you are not allowed to take the exam again.

Since you cannot yet book this exam the pricing is not yet available. According to earlier estimates from John Hall of VMware this exam should be in the $400 range depending on your location and exam provider.

You can find out all of the details on VCAP and download the blueprint from here.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Hey is that Chad Sakac’s twin over there

First off let me say that this is all in good fun and everyone gets a laugh out of a celebrity look alike. Although in this case and in our community we all know who the real vCelebrity is. This is just something that was kind of bugging me for a while and I was watching some late night TV and saw the car make over show with Chip Foose and it hit me. That Chip is Chad’s Doppelganger. For those of you that don’t watch the “How I met your mother” show on TV. A Doppelganger is someones double or look-alike. Heck even their names Chad and Chip both are 4 letters and start with C. This is something that parents do all the time.

Both guys are creative and passionate people in their fields and create some awesome stuff. They could work together and create a sweet ride for Chad and drop a vBlock in for Chip. Heck maybe Chip could design a custom vBlock with a cool paint scheme on the rack. Anyways have a look for yourself and maybe I’m just sleep deprived.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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