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1.1 – Identify the pre-requisites and components for a vSphere implementation

The components of a vSphere implementation

  • The ESXi server is a hypervisor which virtualizes compute physical resources.
  • The vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller is the central plane of management to manage multiple ESXi’s and VM’s running on them
  • The VMware Update Manager provides an easy solution to manage patches or updates in your ESXi environment.
  • One ESXi license supports up to 32 cores

The partition layout has changed between ESXi 6 and 7 as you can see below. So plan accordingly. If you choose to update your vSphere to vSphere 7, you will be unable to downgrade if the need arises.

The workflow of a vSphere implementation

  1. Install ESXi on a host
  2. Perform the configuration of said ESXi server
  3. Deploy or install vCenter Server
  4. Login to the webclient and optimize the vSphere environment

Normally you’ll be able to run ESXi on any new or old device you come across in your environment, however it does not hurt to investigate the pre-requisites the vSphere environment requires:

  • A supported server platform
  • Minimum of 2 CPU cores
  • NX/ND bit needs to be enabled for CPU in BIOS
  • Minimum of 4GB RAM
  • One or more 1 Gbps or faster ethernet controller
  • A boot device
    • 8GB for USB or SD
    • 32GB for HDD, SSD or NVMe
    • Boot from SAN

The vCenter is a preconfigured appliance and can be deployed to an ESXi 6.5 host or later.

In General:

  • Download the installation media
  • Configure the physical network
  • Perform firmware upgrade of the ESXi host
  • Configure DNS and NTP services
  • Configure Firewall rules

For the vCenter Server:

  • Verify the host isn’t in lockdown or maintenance mode, or part of a fully automated cluster
  • Verify forward and reverse DNS records are in place
  • If using NTP servers for time sync, verify the servers are running and synced
  • If its deployed as part of a Enhanced Linked Mode, create an image-based backup of existing vCenter nodes
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