How can I run an ESXi home lab for vSphere 5.5 without having all the drivers?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Many virtualization administrators who are eager to try out the new offerings from VMware have an ESXi home lab or want to build a relatively cheap one with enough power to run several VMs.
There are times when a new vSphere release may not include all the drivers to run the hardware, which means IT administrators will need to be resourceful to get necessary components to function properly.
In his presentation at the VTUG Winter Warmer 2014 event, Mark Gabryjelski, a virtualization practice manager at Worldcom Exchange, shared the parts he used to build a home virtualization lab for less than $2,000 to run vSphere 5.5. He covered some of the problems he encountered to get the system -- based on a barebones Shuttle PC -- running. One obstacle he surmounted was a missing driver issue.
"If you're going to run this lab ... just use [vSphere] 5.5 from VMware. But if you wanted to use some of the older [vSphere] versions, there are some additional things you're going to want to do," Gabryjelski said. "One of the reasons why you can't just use 5.5 -- even though I say to use it -- is the Realtek drivers are not part of the 5.5 general availability media."
"If you want to go ahead and put 5.5 on there and use the onboard adapter without making a custom ESX ISO, then do an install of 5.1 and after that upgrade to 5.5," he said.
"The drivers will be there and you won't have to learn how to make a custom ISO right away," Gabryjelski said. "It'll at least get you the other [network interface card] that's on board on the Shuttle PC functioning right away. That took me a while to figure out."
Dig Deeper on VMware and networking
Related Q&A from Tom Walat
With the removal of feature and performance limitations in vCenter Server Appliance in vSphere 6, is it time to switch?continue reading
What did VMware's engineers do to give the vSphere Web Client its dramatic speed boost in vSphere 6?continue reading
For a company that wants to open up the lines of communication in its NSX virtual network, using the NSX Edge gateway service will provide access to ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.