Friday, October 27, 2017

[How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation - Part 5

This article is the Part 5 finale of the [How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation series.

This How-to has multiple parts

It assumed you are following this guide in order, if you don't you are probably going to have a bad time.

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro, vCSA 6.5, and ESXi 6.5u1 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions.

This guide assumes basic understanding of VMware ESXi, Unix, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 8+) fully installed.
    This should also work with Fusion (ver. 4+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. vCSA iso (download from my.vmware.com)
  3. Enough Resources - vCSA will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core (2/1 recommended)
    • 10gb of RAM (temp during build, can lower after first power up to 1gb)
    • Up to 230gb Disk (a fresh install takes up ~16gb of disk running at first boot, then about ~7gb assuming you've moved memory to 1gb and ~6gb when powered off)
  4. An ESX host to configure our vCSA to manage - [How-to] Installing ESXi in VMware Workstation.
  5. DNS entries, vCSA requires forward and reverse DNS entries for your appliance - if you don't have the infrastructure setup yet you can follow this guide - [How-to] Install your own HoL-like Control Center Server in VMware Workstation
  6. Licenses to make this all work (free trial or download from VMware)

Adding your first ESXi Host

1. Click the Home button, then Hosts and Clusters or press (Ctrl-Alt-2).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

[How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation - Part 4

This article is the Part 4 continuation of the [How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation series.

This How-to has multiple parts

It assumed you are following this guide in order, if you don't you are probably going to have a bad time.

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro, vCSA 6.5, and ESXi 6.5u1 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions.

This guide assumes basic understanding of VMware ESXi, Unix, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 8+) fully installed.
    This should also work with Fusion (ver. 4+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. vCSA iso (download from my.vmware.com)
  3. Enough Resources - vCSA will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core (2/1 recommended)
    • 10gb of RAM (temp during build, can lower after first power up to 1gb)
    • Up to 230gb Disk (a fresh install takes up ~16gb of disk running at first boot, then about ~7gb assuming you've moved memory to 1gb and ~6gb when powered off)
  4. An ESX host to configure our vCSA to manage - [How-to] Installing ESXi in VMware Workstation.
  5. DNS entries, vCSA requires forward and reverse DNS entries for your appliance - if you don't have the infrastructure setup yet you can follow this guide - [How-to] Install your own HoL-like Control Center Server in VMware Workstation
  6. Licenses to make this all work (free trial or download from VMware)

Licensing your Lab

1. Click the Home button, then Hosts and Clusters or press (Ctrl-Alt-2).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

[How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation - Part 3

This article is the Part 3 continuation of the [How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation series.

This How-to has multiple parts

It assumed you are following this guide in order, if you don't you are probably going to have a bad time.

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro, vCSA 6.5, and ESXi 6.5u1 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions.

This guide assumes basic understanding of VMware ESXi, Unix, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 8+) fully installed.
    This should also work with Fusion (ver. 4+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. vCSA iso (download from my.vmware.com)
  3. Enough Resources - vCSA will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core (2/1 recommended)
    • 10gb of RAM (temp during build, can lower after first power up to 1gb)
    • Up to 230gb Disk (a fresh install takes up ~16gb of disk running at first boot, then about ~7gb assuming you've moved memory to 1gb and ~6gb when powered off)
  4. An ESX host to configure our vCSA to manage - [How-to] Installing ESXi in VMware Workstation.
  5. DNS entries, vCSA requires forward and reverse DNS entries for your appliance - if you don't have the infrastructure setup yet you can follow this guide - [How-to] Install your own HoL-like Control Center Server in VMware Workstation
  6. Licenses to make this all work (free trial or download from VMware)

Configure the Platform Services Controller (PSC)

The PSC is the new master service for everything SSO and Certificates in 6.x let us get it configured to use Active Directory. You will want to complete these next steps from your jump box browser (a browser than can access both your AD DC and the vCSA appliance with the AD DNS). If you want to operate in Expert Mode you can add host entries for your AD domain into your host file on your system that is running Workstation and all should be good if you don't want to use a jump box.

1. Make your life much easier, install the local PSC root certificate into your system to save time from errors with an invalid certificate - open https://IPorName/ - scroll to the bottom and click the Download trusted root CA certificates link, unzip the file and open the certificate file to install it to trusted roots. See this MS article if you need more help.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

[How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation - Part 2

This article is the Part 2 continuation of the [How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation series.

This How-to has multiple parts

It assumed you are following this guide in order, if you don't you are probably going to have a bad time.

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro, vCSA 6.5, and ESXi 6.5u1 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions.

This guide assumes basic understanding of VMware ESXi, Unix, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 8+) fully installed.
    This should also work with Fusion (ver. 4+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. vCSA iso (download from my.vmware.com)
  3. Enough Resources - vCSA will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core (2/1 recommended)
    • 10gb of RAM (temp during build, can lower after first power up to 1gb)
    • Up to 230gb Disk (a fresh install takes up ~16gb of disk running at first boot, then about ~7gb assuming you've moved memory to 1gb and ~6gb when powered off)
  4. An ESX host to configure our vCSA to manage - [How-to] Installing ESXi in VMware Workstation.
  5. DNS entries, vCSA requires forward and reverse DNS entries for your appliance - if you don't have the infrastructure setup yet you can follow this guide - [How-to] Install your own HoL-like Control Center Server in VMware Workstation
  6. Licenses to make this all work (free trial or download from VMware)

Post Deploy Configuration of vCSA

1. Open the management interface website https://IPorNAME:5480. On some browsers you may receive a certificate error, feel free to add an exception/continue anyways depending on your browser. You should be prompted for your root password, enter it and watch the install process complete, yes this can take some time once complete (second screen), click Close as we want to change a few things here in the Management website.

Monday, October 23, 2017

[How-to] Install vCSA into VMware Workstation - Part 1

With all the great remote access/management features built into VMware Workstation 14 wouldn't it be nice to be able to deploy the Vmware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) right into the VMware Workstation Server via the installer the same way we install it into ESXi?

Sadly it's missing some key features only available in a real ESXi host so we are stuck with the legacy import .ova import method, this article will cover how to do just that with 6.5 vCSA and Workstation 14.

This How-to has multiple parts

It assumed you are following this guide in order, if you don't you are probably going to have a bad time.

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro, vCSA 6.5, and ESXi 6.5u1 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions.

This guide assumes basic understanding of VMware ESXi, Unix, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 8+) fully installed.
    This should also work with Fusion (ver. 4+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. vCSA iso (download from my.vmware.com)
  3. Enough Resources - vCSA will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core (2/1 recommended)
    • 10gb of RAM (temp during build, can lower after first power up to 1gb)
    • Up to 230gb Disk (a fresh install takes up ~16gb of disk running at first boot, then about ~7gb assuming you've moved memory to 1gb and ~6gb when powered off)
  4. An ESX host to configure our vCSA to manage - [How-to] Installing ESXi in VMware Workstation.
  5. DNS entries, vCSA requires forward and reverse DNS entries for your appliance - if you don't have the infrastructure setup yet you can follow this guide - [How-to] Install your own HoL-like Control Center Server in VMware Workstation
  6. Licenses to make this all work (free trial or download from VMware)

Installing vCSA in VMware Workstation

1. Open the iso with Windows Explorer or another archive tool like 7zip, extract to a folder.

Friday, October 20, 2017

[How-to] Install your own HoL-like Control Center Server in VMware Workstation

If you have used VMware's Hands-on Labs much you'll notice there is usually recurring system - the Control Center VM - this VM usually serves a number of purposes such as:

  • An RDP Jumpbox into the lab
  • Active Directory Services
  • DNS/DHCP/NTP Services
  • vCenter Tools Access
  • AD Certificate Services


If you are looking to create your own vHoL in VMware Workstation you'll need this control center to run a number of prerequisite services to tie it all together (stuff like making sure DNS is functioning before you try and deploy the vCSA or vRA Appliance).

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro and Windows Server Standard 2016 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions (including a Lab ESXi host).

This guide assumes basic understanding of Windows Server OS, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 14+ for 2016 support) fully installed.
    This should also work with Fusion (ver. 10+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. Windows Server Standard 2016 iso (Other Editions will work as well) - I assume you have access to this, if not you can try https://imagine.microsoft.com/ assuming you (or your kids) have a valid .edu address.
  3. Enough Resources - Windows Server 2016 will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core
    • 1gb of RAM (2gb recommended)
    • Up to 40gb Disk - 2016 recommends 60, but it's easier to expand so I start with 40gb (a fresh install as documented here takes up ~16gb of disk running and ~14gb when powered off assuming 2gb of RAM)
  4. Licenses to make this all work (Windows seems quite functional without working licenses - but some functionality like patching may be impacted once your grace period expires).

Installing Windows Server 2016 in VMware Workstation

1. From the VMware Workstation toolbar, click File > New Virtual machine (or CTRL-N).

Thursday, October 19, 2017

[How-to] Installing ESXi in VMware Workstation

So, maybe you are studying for an exam, or maybe you want more practice installing ESXi - The Hands-on Labs from VMware are great for playing, but not so good on core builds, maybe you are luckily enough to have a dev or lab at either home or work, for everyone else there is installing ESXi into Workstation/Fusion, this guide will cover how you put a base ESXi install into VMware Workstation.

Before we get started

This post is based off VMware Workstation 14 Pro  and ESXi 6.5u1 - but the concepts should be pretty similar across other versions.

This guide assumes basic understanding of VMware ESXi, Unix, networking services, and the like, and as usual these instructions are provided as-is, no support or warranty is provided or implied. Consider thyself warned.

What do I need?

To begin you will need the following:
  1. VMware Workstation (ver. 8+) fully installed.
    This will also work with Fusion (ver. 4+) for you MacOS fans.
  2. ESXi iso (download from my.vmware.com)
  3. Enough Resources - an empty ESXi 6.5u1 shell will require:
    • 1 CPU / 1 Core (2/1 recommended)
    • 4gb of RAM
    • Up to 40gb Disk (a fresh install takes up ~4.5gb of disk running and ~450mb when powered off)

Create your new ESXi Virtual Machine

1. From the VMware Workstation toolbar, click File > New Virtual machine (or CTRL-N).