Sunday, March 10, 2013

My new toy: HP DL380G5 + setting up VMware vSphere Hypervisor

I'm switching jobs and I'm presuming I'll have more to do with server installations. In order to play around with this a bit more I treated myself to a 5th generation HP DL380.

They're not that expensive 2nd hand and I think I got quite a good deal on one with 2 Xeon 5160's, 20 GB of RAM and 8 146 GB discs.
This thing is heavy and it's loud, but I've had lots of fun with it thusfar. Here's what I did:

1. Installed VMware vSphere Hypervisor

It's amazing that this product is for free. Get your account at VMWare and get the Hypervisor. You'll get a license that makes the free features never expire.

Made a bootable USB using YUMI and installed it on the server. I had to make one change in the BIOS in order for it to work - see "ESXi requires the Execute Disable/No Execute CPU feature to be enabled". It's easy - check it out here. You just need to get it on the server, set a root password and assign a static IP address to the machine ( at least - that's what I did ).

2. Get the client and upload some ISOs

Now download the client, install it and connecto to the server. You need to use the client to enter your license key ( here's how ) . After getting in and looking around a little - I uploaded some ISOs to the datastore. I decided to go with the latest Ubuntu server and Windows Server 2012. My company has a  BizSpark membership - so I can get all the Microsoft goodness for free.

3. Create some VMs

After the uploads are done - you can start creating VMs. Just right click on the server, hit 'New virtual machine' and the process is pretty much self explanatory. After booting up the VM - you want to mount the ISO that you uploaded to the datastore. It will boot from the ISO and you'll install the server in no-time.

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