VMware vCenter Server Appliance & Lab

OakparktechOakparktech Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Two questions.

1. I am a beginner setting up lab on my HP Proliant DL380G6. With vSphere I "file deployed ovf template" and it error out during the configuration. Can you please give me some advice on how to properly install vCenter Server Appliance. attached is screen shot.

2. Preparing for VCP5-DCV and setting up lab to get some experience with Vmotion, templates and clones, HA etc. Below are the tasks I completed. Is there anything you recommend as I am building this lab?

a. created RAID5 ( I have 4 drives of 146GB) (24GB RAM)
b. bootable ESXi
c. installed two nested ESXi
d. working on vcenter applicance

thank you in advance.

Comments

  • GAB1900GAB1900 Posts: 60Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Your database is not configured. I recommend you get a study guide to follow/understand all the steps.
  • OakparktechOakparktech Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I know the database is not configured. Been looking at you tubes videos and guides.
  • bgold87bgold87 Posts: 112Member
    Why use the Vcenter virutal appliance as opposed to the the Windows install? It only supports oracle for a DB and I haven't found many guides for this configuration. If you decide to change, here's my thread with a link for configuring Vcenter and a SQL DB.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/virtualization/105986-home-lab-tutorial.html
  • OakparktechOakparktech Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just learning and trying to figure out the best method for my lab. Are you saying create a windows server 2008 vm and install vcenter?
    Thanks for the link of your lab.
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    Hello Oakparktech!

    Yes I can see you do have a few issues, but that's OK, everyone starts somewhere.

    Lets make a list and go over what needs to be done to fix your issue:

    1) First off you should go pickup a book on VMware and read it, Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5. Read along with the book and labbing are the best ways to learn. Also get the VMware ESXi 5.5 Blueprints off VMware and go down them line by line until you master them.

    ================================================

    2) Secondly, while yes you can deploy vCenter as an Appliance, for the purposes of learning, at this stage, your best bet is to make a VM inside of your cluster and install Windows Server 2008/2012 on it and then install vCenter inside of the operating system and make sure you have a SQL database, SQL Express is provided with the Window vCenter Installation but not for the appliance (a vCenter Appliance requires a connecting SQL database to work).

    If you have further questions on this, it's best you reference the book provided above.



    NOTE:
    it's advisable that you make a separate VM for a DNS/AD server, while not like super super needed, it is recommended that you have name resolution for your vCenter especially later on down the road for other things like permissions and AD authentication.

    I'm speaking strictly from a Windows perspective of course, if you want to work with Linux, LDAP is what you'd be using.

    =================================================

    3) Third, as far as vMotion is concerned may ask if you have two hosts? or is your lab going to be only one host and everything is going to be virtual?... Basically if you want to truly grasp vMotion/svMotion fully it's ideal if you have the switching fabric (slang for a network switch) for it (and a second host, discussed later..); on a similar topic you'll need a different switching fabric from production/management. It's normally best practice to keep vMotion/svMotion completely isolated from a production network just because of the sheer number of broadcast it produces and it's has a security/design aspect to it as-well.

    ================================================

    4) Fourth, as far as your storage is concerned you could do your cluster on 4 drives, but I would get another drive or if possible a NAS. Basically if you going to go with a internal storage array on the server, me personally, I'd get another 146 GB drive of the same make and model and make a RAID 1 for the ESXi installation and then with the left over drives make a RAID 5 array for storage of the VM's.

    NOTE:
    be weary of the fact that they are only 146 GB's so that's about 260GB's~ of storage space for all of your VM's. You might run into storage contention later on down the road in your labbing. Be sure if you use Array Thin Provisioning that you keep an eye on storage.

    If you want to do this correctly, make sure your server has at-least 4 Gigabit ports, one for svMotion, one for vMotion (only if you have two or more hosts, if you have one host then this is not needed just remember it will be needed in a production world), one for production, and one spare or as management, get a cheapo switch off ebay (that supports Jumbo Frames, gigabit is recommended), a NAS like say the QNAP TS-420 off Amazon (and [3] 1 TB drives or smaller for RAID 5) and a dozen 10 ft Cat5e's; once you have that just make two vlans on the switch and make your vMotion/svMotion fabric

    Note: Ideally, I'd do this across two hosts if you want to learn some of the more advanced feature of the VCP5, get a 2nd host; the experience comes in handy on the exam.

    If you have any questions please ask. :)
  • OakparktechOakparktech Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I appreciate the advice. I added my comments below.

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. I have the Mastering Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 and understand better now after I took the Stanley training course. But as this is my first time setting up a lab, I expected to run into issues.

    2. I have one physical server Proliant DL380 G6 and created two nested ESXi hosts. will setup VM inside of your cluster and install Windows Server 2008/2012 on it and then install vCenter inside of the operating system and make sure you have a SQL database, SQL Express. Does it matter which vm to put the ESXi?

    3. I have two nested hosts. I will keep your advice to setup a switching fabric.

    4. I have 4 drives 146GB. I setup RAID 5 and install ESXI on it. Why ESXi on RAID 1 and left over drives on RAID5. Are there benefits?

    5. My server has 4 Gigabit ports.

    I figure as I get more comfortable, I can continue to upgrade/break my lab. I am sure in a couple of weeks, this will be a piece of cake to setup
  • DeathmageDeathmage Posts: 2,496Banned
    I appreciate the advice. I added my comments below.

    Thanks for the tips.

    1. I have the Mastering Mastering VMware vSphere 5.5 and understand better now after I took the Stanley training course. But as this is my first time setting up a lab, I expected to run into issues.

    2. I have one physical server Proliant DL380 G6 and created two nested ESXi hosts. will setup VM inside of your cluster and install Windows Server 2008/2012 on it and then install vCenter inside of the operating system and make sure you have a SQL database, SQL Express. Does it matter which vm to put the ESXi?

    3. I have two nested hosts. I will keep your advice to setup a switching fabric.

    4. I have 4 drives 146GB. I setup RAID 5 and install ESXI on it. Why ESXi on RAID 1 and left over drives on RAID5. Are there benefits?

    5. My server has 4 Gigabit ports.

    I figure as I get more comfortable, I can continue to upgrade/break my lab. I am sure in a couple of weeks, this will be a piece of cake to setup

    OK, so a few things I don't think you understand correctly.

    1) 1st off, you need to make 3 VM's inside of your cluster right off the bat.

    a) The 1st VM should be a Domain Controller, if you don't know how to do that, install Server 2008/2012 on a VM and once your into windows go to run and type "dcpromo /adv" to get your domain started and install a DNS server. Once dns is created, I'm assuming you know the basics of a server installation, you need to assign a A record for your ESXi hosts (if you need help past that google it, lol)

    b) you'll need to make another VM; install Server 2008/2012 and make a standalone server and install vCenter on this VM, DO NOT MAKE IT A domain controller! and install your SQL express locally on that server. once it's created assign a A record in dns for the server say vcenter1.[yourdomain].com and give it a IP address of your internal network, this way you can resolve by name instead of IP. IP would work but later on down the road you'll need it.

    c) the third VM you make another VM (this is purely a preference of course, but is best practice) and install VUM on it and link it to your SQL express database. you could pop it on your vCenter server since it is a lab, but in the real world it's not advisable.

    2) Well by gauging the response about RAID I'm presuming you don't understand the fundamental structure of RAID. A RAID 1 is mirror'd and allows for redundancy; also you want to separate the installation partition of ESXi from the datastore being used for the VM's. Example, if you lose your current RAID 5 you lose your VM's and your ESXi installation, that wouldn't be fun at all. Please remember in the real world not to clump your data into one spot and provide redundancy for everything.



    My advise to you is to read the book into at-least chapter 5 before really getting into the lab. To start, get your fabric built and your physical hardware built out, just remember since your working for a nested cluster things will work a lot differently than it would be in a production world.
  • OakparktechOakparktech Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi, okay so finally moving along on my lab and ran into some issues and was hoping you can help.

    1. created RAID 10
    2. ESXi 5.5 running on SD card
    3. Created 1st VM installed Windows Server 2008. Assigned static IP address. Created Domain Controller. Created a record of the ESXi host.
    Why is DNS server IP 127.0.0.1 is this okay?


    4. Created 2nd VM installed Windows Server 2008. Did not pick up DHCP and I have not assigned a static IP address. Lost here?
    vnic adapter networks is only 192.168.1.68 (screen shot provided).
    My server had 4nics and only using 1. I suppose I can use the second NIC for my 2nd VM.
  • OakparktechOakparktech Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    VM2 will be for Vcenter
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