Intel NUC: Configure ESXi first steps

Here we are with the last part of this article series on how to create your home lab. In this step we’ll use the vSphere Client to connect to the newly created VMware ESXi Host. During the last boot an available DHCP should have assigned an IP address to the ESXi unless a static IP address has been provided. Another option would be to access the vSphere Host by using its Hostname providing that both forward and reverse naming resolutions work correctly in the DNS. This is also a crucial step when installing and configuring the vCenter and other Virtual Appliances (vSphere Data Protection for example). My recommendation is to plan the Network resources in advance and pre-configure them when necessary.

So from the Summary tab we can review all the general settings as shown in the screenshot below


Next is to configure the Network Time Protocol by navigating to Configuration > Time Configuration > Properties. Let’s make sure the NTP client is enabled and current


Extra options can be configured. In the general section I change to Start and Stop with the host. Also I start the service manually if not running


From the NTP section we can add the NTP servers on the Internet to perform the synchronisation. One should be sufficient. Also let’s make sure these addresses can be reached from our internal private network


Next is to configure the DNS settings as per screenshot below. At this point in time only 1 vmkernel is available due to the built-in single network adapter recognised and installed. In a separate article I will create separate vmkernel assosciated to different adapters to physically operate the network traffic on individual network adapters for better performances and security.


One configuration change that is helping especially at the beginning is by enabling both the ESXi Shell and the SSH Server services.


For these two services let’s change to start and stop with Host. These settings can be changed later on when hardening the ESXi Host configurations


At this point by using an SSH client for example like putty we can access the ESXi Host as per screenshots below. First let’s accept the Host key. We should be able to trust it!


Now providing the user root with the password configured before we have full access to the Host with a Command Line Interface. So at this point if we issue a “dcui” command will bring us to the initial configuration wizard as per screenshots below


“dcui” command


This concludes this quick article series on how to build your personal home lab.

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.

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