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New to VMWare ESXI


1637015741Aug 17, 2022 07:03 AM


wbravinAug 17, 2022 08:25 AM

  • 1.  New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 08, 2022 01:49 PM

    Hello all


    I have just been given A hp ml350 g6 that has esxi 6.7 already installed. I will be using it in my home environment

    I'm not a computer savy individual. However i do enjoy learning

    The development of this server is interesting to me for the possibilities it offers. 

    I see the possibility (based upon youtube videos i see) that i would be able to host on this server my Home assistant OS and my opnSense solution......Great.

    I have 2 htpcs ( to play my media) , 2 laptops (one as test and management and the other hosting HA ) and i will purchase 2 tablets (to host HA dashboard)

    I would have

    In addition I have a

    supermicro server as my secondary (backup) NAS

    an ASUS server as my Primary NAS

    dell 720 currently hosting OPNsense (this is the one |I will sell)

    All my PC are running on win 10 pro

    As one of my laptops died I will use the one hosting HA as my test and management laptop

    I would ask this community for some patience

    What other software would i need to manage VMware?

    Can i add a multiple usb connector to the DL 350 and have  my z-wave and zigbee usbs be seen by my HA instlallation within ESXI? If so how do i do this? Is there a video to watch?


    I see many mention webshpre. or workstation  do i need them?


    Thank you in advance for your patience and hlp

  • 2.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI
    Best Answer

    Posted Aug 08, 2022 06:53 PM

    ESXi have a inbuild management which is named "Host Client" and all what you need is a modern browser to access this WebGUI.

    Yes with ESXi you can pass attached USB devices to the VMs.

    If the Dell R720 have same amount of RAM and CPU as your ML350 i suggest to use the PowerEdge Server. Even its not supportet on paper you can run ESXi 7.0 on the Dell.


  • 3.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 08, 2022 08:24 PM

    Hi all

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply, this is grealy apreciated.

    Yes the Dell 720 has 32 gb ram like the ML 350. 

    Are yoiu suggesting that i use the dell as my vm server and i would sell the 350. If this is the case I would consider this as the dell has 3.5 inch hd and the 350 only has 8 146 gb 2.5 inch hd. in addition the dell has 3 esternal usb which means i do not need a usb expansion*and the 350 does not mount in the rack)

    In addition I have 6 2tb drives that i could install on the dell and put the vm on an ssd


    BTW i could not find a esxi 7 for home use. can yopu please assist?

    once again thank you very much


  • 4.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI
    Best Answer

    Posted Aug 08, 2022 09:10 PM

    The free version for home use which also can be use for production(legal) is named "vSphere Hypervisor". The Software is 100% the same as vSphere ESXi(the $$$ one) and the only difference is made from the license key you entered during runtime within the first 60 days.

    Download of the software and the free license key can be found unter:
    Download VMware vSphere Hypervisor for Free

    Unfortunately you will not allowed to download the Dell Custom ISO which may comes with some newer drivers for the Dell HW. But your R720 is 7 years and older so i think the normal VMware vanilla ISO will do the same job.

    After installation of ESXi you can apply 2 additional Dell related packages named

    1. Dell OpenManage Administrator (OMSA) for ESXi
    2. Dell iDRAC Tools(racadm) which is a commandline tool to interact with your iDRAC (same as HPE ILO) from the ESXi Shell





  • 5.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 09, 2022 05:24 AM

    Thank you   Joerg

    Many thank your your reply and assistant

    I am currently downloading the ISO.

    I will first install it on the 350 and load the images for both opnsense and HA and see how they work ( i'm sure i will screwup the process ....LOL)

    Once i will be satisfied that all is working as best as possible i will then migrate this installation to the 720. this will keep me busy for a few months


    Again thank you


  • 6.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 10, 2022 04:37 PM

    Hello all

    I could not install the Ver 7 mentionned in your mail on the 350. I ended up downloading from the HP site the HP Flavour of the 6.5. It loaded and i did manage to log into it remotely.


    I played with it (just looking ar what was there and ar the menues) for abour 20 minutes. Then I got a call from afreind tht lasted over and hour. The server and the remore connection were working fine..

    I get back to my laptop on which i am loging into the vms erver and i get the login screen.

    As i try to login i get an exception error

    ause: Error: [$rootScope:inprog]$rootScope/inprog?p0=%24digest
    Version: 1.15.0
    Build: 5069532
    ESXi: 6.5.0
    Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/537.36
    Exception stack:
    Error: [$rootScope:inprog]$rootScope/inprog?p0=%24digest
        at l (
        at k.$apply (
        at HTMLInputElement.<anonymous> (
        at HTMLInputElement.dispatch (
        at r.handle (
        at prop (
        at n.access (
        at n.fn.init.prop (
        at V.$set (

     I cleared my browser cache several times, I closes and re-openned the browser, I re-booted the server to no avail.

    I was excited before the call because i was planing to add my first vm Home assistant to it and run a parallel solution to my debian machine.

    If this were successful i would then port opnsens to the vm. After running in paralell for some time I would migrate all to the VMware HA and OPNsense to the dell 

    At this point i would install the ver 7 of vmware as you recommended

    But alas no joy.

    The only modifications i made are setting the server to a static IP  

    Did i miss something?

    or did i not configure it correctly?

    What do i do now?  

    Thank you for your patience and hel ...I hope it's cool where you are

  • 7.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 10, 2022 05:07 PM

    I suggest to install ESXi on your Dell and not on your HPE Server.  WIth HPE gear you need to be follow the what is supportet road where the powedge will run also the unsupportet versions in a better way.

    I have trouble to understand if your error msg comes from the Host Client? You can try to restart the management services on within ESXi (but you restart the complete host already) so it doesnt matter. But it looks like the msg is from a GuestOS?
    If not.. which Browser do you use?

    A ESXi HPE Custom ISO contains way more customization from HPE compared to any other vendor.


  • 8.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI
    Best Answer

    Posted Aug 11, 2022 12:10 PM



    I spent the morning trying to install ver 7.0.3 of VMware on the dell.


    After many tribulations and frustrating reboots to fix the dell BIOS configuration. I finally was able to try to install wmware

    During this isntallation many warning flags appared. I dealth with them on of the time

    As the installare was progressing it did arrise with the following issues

    a) the installer (from the USB) was not able to see the attached HD to install VM. These drives were rcognised by the bios and were recognised during the boot process. This is without a doubt a configuration error.

    B) more deadly. At the end of the installation i produced and exeption error sying that the installed CPUs were not compatible with VM ( the are intel x5675)

    The instalation on the ml350 has an ssh incompatability issue I tried to access through chrome on a win 7 laptop

    what can i do/should next?  

    I'm done for today

    Thank you for your continuous help and patience

  • 9.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 11, 2022 12:25 PM

    If you have a x5675 i have my doubt that you have a R720 because thats a Intel Westmare CPU and ESXi 6.7 is the last one which can run o this CPU.

    The R720 starts with SandyBridge like E5-2xxx and we once have more than 100s of these and a few are left and runs perfectly 7.0.3(unsupportet of course).


  • 10.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 11, 2022 01:54 PM



    Funny you should say this. When i purchased the 720 3 years ago, on the delivery date the courrier dropped the package and destroid the server. The vendor sent me immediatly a replacement and to my surprise the ID sleve on the left had side of the server does say r720II. I then canibalised the old server for ram, idrac and HBA. As usual I screwed up and i deleted the BIOS at that time. I seache far an beyond for the update BIOS for this server, O fouod it and after many tries i flashed the bios with the new software. All went well and I succesfully installed and configured OPNsense on it and it ran well for the past 3 years.

    Odly enough when i enterred to configure the BIOS I noticed that it tagged the server as a 710. When installing VM it too saw the server as a 710.  Go Figure

    So By your statement I would need to install 6.7  correct?

    If this would work then I will definatly continue on the dell ... but tomorrow. LOL

    However i need to fix the drives first  

    Thank yoiu for your prompt response and help

  • 11.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 11, 2022 06:49 PM



    I confirmed it's an R710 with dell. **bleep**

    I installed successuly (i feel) 6.7 on the 710. 

    Thank you for your immense support  and teachings it is greatly 

    I watched many videos on how to create a vm for home assistant and opnsens. The all talk about going to storage to reteive the vdx. 

    I tried with a use a USB and the VM GUI would not see it in storage. On the 710 i add an sd card, could i use this SD as storage once inserted in the server?


    My next step would be to increase the ram from 16 gb per cpu to at least 24 or 32.


    Would you recommend puttinh VMware and the VMs on an SSD. Would this improve response. I realise thaqt neither HA or OPnsens would have a lot of read write?'s getting there

    Once again many thank


  • 12.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 11, 2022 07:18 PM

    For a ESXi 6.7 using a (DUAL) SD card is fine and a solution we sold alot(ok, the 7.0u2 disaster is a different story). No you cant use a SD card as a VMFS Datastore to store VMs on.

    Use local HDD/SSD or provide storage via NFS(TrueNAS/Synology/QNAP) or what ever to place VM ons.

    About the USB..... you need to go to the VM settings and add a virtual USB Hub and than you can add USB devices(plug them first into the Host).

    You have to check if your HPE or Dell Server is newer and use this one. Your R710 is 10 years at least.


  • 13.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 13, 2022 08:07 AM



    Sorry to have taken so long to respond.


    Following the trials and tribulations on the 710. I decided to concentrate my efforts on the ml. 

    I Installed 6.7 and it worked and installed wioth only one warning. That the cpu and ram may not be supported in the next releases. Fair enough.

    I also re-configured the ml HD to have the VM software and the sw for OPNsense and home assitant os installed on a 3X146gb drive. IMHO this should be enough for these 3 softwares to function properly. I plan to add no more than 50GB per solution..

    I'm happy as a clam so far.

    Now comes the fun part.

    All this morning i have been trying to get the license key and i successfully added it to vm.

    Now that it is up and running i am trying to follow a youtube video for the installation of HA 

    . I followed your instructions for the USB in the wm however like you mentionned it will not function as a datastore.


    1) How do i add the home assitant to the newly created vm?    Solved

    2) when i added the usb I was warned that only on usb can be added to a vm? this for me is an issue, because I currently have 1 z-wave USB I will need a wifi USB and a zigbee usb *to be used as a passthrough) next month in order to migrate my current ha installation from a laptop to the ml. Therefore instead of one usb connected to the home assistant vm can I add a multiple usb connector and will VM consider this as one USB? 


    Again many thanks for your patience and support

  • 14.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 17, 2022 06:05 AM



    Thank you for all your help. Today I fave a fully working ESXi installation with HA and OPNsense installed and running. Now i just need to configure them.


    I know that for most individuals in this forum this may be childs play, however for me, it was an excellent learning experience and i am happy as a clam 

    Next step Is to add 32 more GB of memory to the ml and a 4 port NIC (for OPNsense)

    I find that the boot process is very lengthy.  As an improvement, would installing all of this on an mvme inprove the speed of the boot process and the performance of the vm solutions?


    Thank you so much for all your help, patience and teachings. How can I pay you a ice cold beer?

  • 15.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 17, 2022 06:30 AM

    When you mentioned "HA" in the same sentence with ESXi the people think about vSphere HA(HighAvailable) which needs

    • 2 or more Hosts
    • vCenter
    • Shared Storage
    • Proper Licensing

    Your HA means HomeAssistant?

    During boot the ESXi will be copied from boot media into a RAM Disk so yes... boot took some time when having USB Stick, SD card or so but thats not effecting the overall runtime performance. Normally the people reboot every few month to apply patches so it doesnt matter if it boots in 4min instead of 2.

    About the 4 port NIC.  Technically you just create 4 Portgroups on your vSwitch and assign 4 vNICs to the VM where each hook up the the right Portgroup. The one or two Uplinks of the vSwich than have propper VLAN tagging. But it depends on your networking gear and environment.

    Your VMFS "Datastores" for sure are Hardware based RAID with SSD or some NVMe for the VMs.


  • 16.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 17, 2022 08:19 AM

    Thank you for replying so quickly


    Sorry. Yes HA (for me) is Home Assistant


    I have a Netgear GS724T and Yes i think i can develop 4 different Vlans on it. So I am clear I do not need an extra NIC I could use the 2 RJ45 ports the 350. one as incoming from the Internet provider and the other to the switch and then let the switch manage the vlans... This could work for my future development of my environmet.

    I just wanted to create one vlan for my server, one lan for my HTPCs and one for my Home assistant IOT.



    BTW once i completed this my mind is to further simplify this in developing a SAN based solution. This would wimplify my environment and increase redundancy 

    I wioll need to learn all this. This will be fun


    Thank you 



  • 17.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Sep 05, 2022 10:15 AM

    hello all


    Everything is up and running nicely (EXSI 6.7, OPNsense, HA). I find ithe boot process bit sluggish. I would like, if i may,  your opinion on the following:

    • would installing and external USB 500 ssd and installing exsi and the vms on this ssd improve the boot process? ( i also would increase the ram from 32 to 64 GB)
    • as part of the HA vm, I added a usb hub with 2 usb attached (mouse and zwave usb) wityh no issues. Could i install/add a wify usb dongle on this hub, and could this wifi adapter be use by EXSI and all the VMs?

    Thank youin advance for responding  


  • 18.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Sep 05, 2022 10:28 AM

    If a ESXi does 4 or 10min to boot doesnt matter if you only restart 2-4 times per year. The ESXi 6.7.x runs within a RAMdisk after its loaded and try to save his configuration data and changes every view minutes or hours. So having a USB Stick or SD card as installation medium for ESXi is totally fine.


    If your VMs starts slow or feel sluggish than your local Storage configuration is the issue

    • Real HW Raidcontroller
    • Enable Write Back Cache when only having spindels and no SSDs
    • A propper amount of spindels or ssds and not a single large SATA drive and a Datastore with 2 dozen of VMs onto


    Normaly a ESXi have no USB Driver support for any kind of external devices. Im not saying its impossible to attach a USB ssd but it makes no sense because you can put the SSD into the server.

    Bringing WiFI into a VM makes no sense for me because the ESXI already have one or more cables connected to your home network.



  • 19.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Sep 05, 2022 11:19 AM

    Thank you   for your quick response this is greatly appreciated.


    You are correct once developped the server will only need to restart 2 to 3 times a year.

    I'm searching the net on how to treplace the 146gb hp sas drives with sata ssds ( i read that one can attach sata drives to a sas controller) but i have not found any convincing thread. Hopefuly once this resolve not only the boot but alsso the opreating vm will have faster response. 

    Do i enable write back on the esxi or the server?


    The wifi is required by Home assistant and the shelly or tasmoda addon. It is not needed for other network connectivity. This is why the rj45 connection nis not enough


    Therefore i would have the zwave the wifi and in a few week a zigbee USB connected to the USB hub. It is not required by ESXI but may also be benificial to OPNsense 


    Once again thank yuou Joerg for your help


  • 20.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Sep 05, 2022 06:48 PM

    An HPE SAS controller, or better the backplane, will also support SATA drives because its downwards compatible.

    The write back cache will be enabled within the RAID configuration tool. If your Raidcontroller have no Battery than the cache rule is set to write through instead write back and its no wonder why it feels dog slow.


  • 21.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Nov 16, 2022 09:03 PM

    Thank you for replying 


    I did replace the battery. 


    however i now havew an issue with the bios of the server which i need to resolve (i screwed up). Once this is fixed i will attempt this again


    Once again thank you for your time and assistance 

  • 22.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 17, 2022 07:03 AM


  • 23.  RE: New to VMWare ESXI

    Posted Aug 17, 2022 08:25 AM

    Hi Dave

    who are you?