Initial Configuration of ESXi 4.1 Servers

The servers that we’ve chosen for this particular VMWare deployment are Dell R710’s with ESXi 4.1 Embedded into a SD card that’s in the server itself, the good thing about this is that we didn’t have to buy any local storage for the servers, and as such can save on raid controllers and local disks, the downside is that we don’t have any cheap local storage on any of the host systems, so everything’s got to go on the SAN.

So once the Servers are racked, plugged in, and turned on you’ll watch them boot, and then after everything is said and done you’ll be left with an unfulfilling “no boot device found” bios error message. Here is how we resolve this first hurdle:

  1. Reboot and enter the BIOS
  2. Scroll down to the section labeled “Integrated Devices” and then press Enter
  3. Scroll down to the section labeled “Internal SD Card Port”, change it to “ON” and then press Enter.
  4. Now reboot, and re-enter the BIOS
  5. Scroll down to the section labeled “Boot Settings” and then press Enter
  6. Scroll down to the section labeled “Hard-Disk Drive Sequence” and then press Enter
  7. Change the first boot device to “Internal SD Card: Flash Reader” and then save and exit the bios, now when the computer boots it will load ESXi.
Once you’ve booted into ESXi’s configuration tool, login with the username of root and a blank password. You’ll now want to do a few things such as:
  • Configure a new password
  • Select Which NIC to use for managment, and configure an IP, Subnet, and Gateway
  • Configure DNS servers (and if you’ve not done this yet configure A records on your DNS servers for the ESXi servers now)
  • Identify which Physical NIC ports on your servers correspond to the logical vmnics listed by esxi, which you can do by entering into the “Configure Management Network” section, and then select “Network Adapters”, move a single cable from one nic to another and then exit and re-enter this screen to see which physical nics correspond to which vmnics in esxi
Now that we’ve configured enough of our ESXi servers to be able to use them we can exit out of all of these screens and head over to a windows computer, install the vSphere client, and connect in to finish the network setup that we started back in this post.

Let’s move on and configure the LAG groups on our Switches and ESXi servers here.

One thought on “Initial Configuration of ESXi 4.1 Servers

  1. Pingback: Configuring LAG Groups between Dell 62xx Series Switches and ESXi 4.1 | The Day to Day Findings of an IT Engineer

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