VMware vCenter 6.0 Create Datacentre, Add ESXi Hosts and Configure vSwitch


Once ESXi has been installed and a management IP has been configured the host can be added on to the vCenter server. First a datacentre is created in vCenter Server, next the ESXi hosts are added to the datacentre and then the vSwitch can be configured on each ESXi host.

Log on to VMware vSphere Web Client

Log on to vSphere Web Client using the administrator account created during the vCenter Server installation, normally this is administrator@vsphere.local. Enter the password also created with this account in Password and click on Login.

Click Hosts and Clusters to create a datacentre and add ESXi hosts to vCenter Server.

Create a Datacentre

Select the vCenter Server FQDN and click Create Datacenter.

Enter the datacentre name and click OK.

Select the newly created datacentre and click Add a host.

Enter the FQDN or IP address of the ESXi host to add to vCenter Server and click Next.

IMPORTANT: The ESXi host must be registered in the forward and reverse lookup zones in DNS before proceeding otherwise vCenter Server may not be able to contact the host.

Enter root in User name and the root password in Password field to allow vCenter to authenticate itself with the ESXi host and click Next.

Click Yes to replace the SSL certificate on the host with one signed by VMware Certificate Server.

Click Next.

Select the license from the list, add a new license using the + icon or leave Evaluation License selected and click Next.

To lockdown the ESXi host so it's only accessible from local console and vCenter Server select Normal, only accessed through vCenter Server select Strict or Disabled to not locked down the host at all. Click Next.

Select the datacentre from the list and click Next.

Review summary and click Finish.

Configure Virtual Switch

Select the ESXi host you wish to configure and click on Manage tab.

Click Networking.

Click Add host networking to add more physical NIC's to the existing vSwitch.

Select Physical Network Adapter and click Next.

Select the existing vSwitch or you can create a new one, in this case we are updating the existing vSwitch0. Click Next.

Click + to add more physical NIC's.

Select one or more network adapters from the list and click OK.

All the NIC's should be in the Active adapters list; now we need to change it so that by default the vSwitch only uses certain NIC's by default for network traffic. The rest of the NIC's can be manually allocated to different traffic such as management, vMotion, Fault Tolerance, NFS and iSCSI, etc. Select one or more NIC's from the list and click the down arrow to move them into Unused adapters.

Click Next.

Click Finish.

Make sure Management Network is selected and click on the pen icon.

Click Teaming and failover.

Using the arrow icons move vmnic0 into Active adapters and vmnic1 and 2 in Standby adapters. All ESXi management traffic will traverse vmnic0 and only if this NIC looses connectivity will it failover to vmnic1 and 2. This makes the management network highly available. Click OK.

Click Add host networking.

Select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.

Select the existing vSwitch0 and click Next.

ESXi needs a VMkernel port group configured for vMotion to do live migration of virtual machines between hosts. Enter a descriptive Network label, select vMotion in the TCP/IP stack drop-down list and click Next.

Select Use static IPv4 settings, enter an IP address and subnet mask in its own separate IP subnet and click Next.

Review the summary and click Finish.

Select vMotion port group and click on the pen icon.

Click Teaming and failover.

Configure vMotion traffic to traverse vmnic1 and only use vmnic0 and 2 in the event vmnic1 looses connectivity, dedicating a NIC to vMotion and providing high availability. Management traffic will use vmnic0 thereby keeping vMotion and management traffic separate unless there is a NIC failure.

Using the arrow icons move vmnic1 into the Active adapters and vmnic0 and 2 into Standby adapters and click OK.

Click Add host networking.

Select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.

Leave vSwitch0 selected and click Next.

Enter a descriptive name in Network label, select Fault Tolerance Logging and click Next.

Select Use static IPv4 settings and enter an IP address and subnet mask that are in a separate IP subnet than management and vMotion. Click Next.

Review the summary and click Finish.

Select FTLogging or whatever you called the Fault Tolerance Logging port group and click on the pen icon.

Click Teaming and failover.

Configure Fault Tolerance Logging traffic to traverse vmnic2 and only use vmnic0 and 1 in the event vmnic2 looses connectivity, dedicating a NIC to Fault Tolerance Logging and providing high availability. Management traffic will use vmnic0 and vMotion uses vmnic1 thereby keeping Fault Tolerance Logging, vMotion and management traffic separate unless there is a NIC failure.

Move vmnic2 to Active adapters and vmnic0 and 1 to Standby adapters and click OK.

Click Add host networking.

Select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.

Leave vSwitch0 selected and click Next.

Enter a descriptive name into Network label and click Next.

Select Use static IPv4 settings, enter an IP address and subnet mask in a separate IP subnet from management, vMotion and Fault Tolerance Logging and click Next.

Review the summary and click Finish.

Select Storage1 or what ever you called the new port group and click the pen icon.

Click Teaming and failover.

Move vmnic6 into Active adapters and all other NIC's will be left in Unused adapters. Storage relies on multipathing to provide load balancing and failover between two or more NIC's instead of using the vSwitches own inbuilt load balancing and failover. Click OK.

Click Add host networking.

Select VMkernel Network Adapter and click Next.

Leave vSwitch0 selected and click Next.

Enter a descriptive name in Network label and click Next.

Select Use static IPv4 settings, enter an IP address and subnet mask in the same IP subnet as the first storage port group (Storage1) and click Next.

Review the summary and click Finish.

Select Storage2 or whatever the port group was labelled and click the pen icon.

Click Teaming and failover

Move vmnic7 into Active adapters and leave all other NIC's in Unused adapters and click Next.

All port groups are now configured on the ESXi host for additional hosts add each ESXi host into vCenter Server and configure the vSwitches as above.

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