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VMware ESX 3.02

Installed my first ESX server on a HP DL380 G5, quite an interesting experience. Overall the process is very smooth. The server is a standard edition, so I just accepted all the suggested defaults. My datastore is going to be on an iSCSI enabled NAS server, so the installer defaults will not affect the datastore. Note that the Qlogic iSCSI card should be PCI-X as the ESX 3.02 installer does not recognize the PCI-e cards. The one I used was QLA 40222. Strangely not listed on the website.

The network for the iSCSI traffic should be on its own private LAN for reliability and throughput. Ideally, seperate NICs and switches as the traffic is really high.

After bringing up the ESX server. the first order of business is to install the HP management agent or HP SIM will not recognize it. HP has forked the code for ESX 2.5 and 3.x management agent. Make sure you install the right one! I installed the HP Insight Manager agents for VMware ver 7.80.

Once HP SIM can recognize the ESX, you can register it in the Virtual Machine Management, so that you can manage, monitor the virtual machines. If you run out of VMM licenses, you still can monitor the virtual machines like any physical servers except that you don't get the VMware style of stop/start the machine and other cool stuff.

If you are going to create multiple new virtual machines, as opposed to server migration via P2V, you might want to create a master template server and sysprep it. Don't forget to put in the license key!

P2V can be performed using the Server Migration Pack (SMP) or VMware's free Converter. Note SMP does not work on domain controllers, whereas VMware Converter performs fine. This is due to the different mode of operation. HP SMP install an agent on the source server which will controll the P2V process. The agent is unable to install on a domain controller due to protection of the Active Directory. In the VMware Converter process, you use it to boot the source server and it works off the CD to migrate to an ESX or VMware Server. HP SMP uses iSCSI, whereas VMware Converter uses CIFS with VMware Server.

A note of caution NT servers generally do not convert well as the OS is too old to handle the device drivers.

VMware supported hardware see here, here and here

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 28, 2007 4:29 PM.

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