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  • Dual Boot With ESXi

    So, having just been made redundant (working for who I did that's no big surprise or sadness ... every cloud) I am trying to address my skills deficit by studying Linux, vMWare and, of course, more advanced Windows stuff and I am pretty much doing it via YouTube.

    I have just bought myself a used DELL Precision T5400 PC with 2 x 3GHz Xeon (Quad Core) and 32GB for a paltry 51 ... I reckon I can sell my "Shuttle" Style i5 media PC for more if I upgrade the HD. With that in mind I would like to replace my media PC with the Dell but realise, if I want to run it directly attached to my TV, I can't do it as a virtual. Direct view from the console onto any selected VM was something I always thought ESXi was missing but they haven't so I was thinking some kind of dual boot.

    Three options present themselves (in my head) which is dual boot in the same way I might do with Linux. I can't see any particular reason that wouldn't work if I leave the space for it on a single hard drive. Install to a separate hard drive and change the boot order depending on what I want to boot from (may even be able to just select the boot drive at boot time). Final option would be to dual boot physically with swappable locking drive caddies ... that is my current favourite since, if I buy three caddies, it also allows me the possibility of building some other OS entirely and leaving Windows & ESXi untouched.

    Any advice?

    Keke
    J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
    The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

  • #2
    Why not install Windows or Linux on the physical system, and use VMware Workstation Player or Virtualbox to create your vSphere environment in a bunch of VMs? That should give you what you need, plus a vSphere environment you can rip and rebuild as often as you want without impacting the physical OS.
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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    • #3
      Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
      Why not install Windows or Linux on the physical system, and use VMware Workstation Player or Virtualbox to create your vSphere environment in a bunch of VMs? That should give you what you need, plus a vSphere environment you can rip and rebuild as often as you want without impacting the physical OS.
      Because vMWare ESXi is what they use in business and that's part of what I need to become more familiar with

      Keke
      J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
      The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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      • #4
        And you will get that experience when you build your vSphere environment in VMs - regardless of whether you put that on the physical box or not.
        VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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        • #5
          Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
          And you will get that experience when you build your vSphere environment in VMs - regardless of whether you put that on the physical box or not.
          I'm sorry Scott but I don't want to do it that way, I want to build it directly on physical hardware.

          In addition Windows 10 only recognises 16 of the 32GB memory so it limits me.

          Thx

          Keke
          Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 11th September 2016, 15:55.
          J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
          The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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          • #6
            Windows 10 (64 bit anyway) should have no difficulty with 32Gb RAM
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ossian View Post
              Windows 10 (64 bit anyway) should have no difficulty with 32Gb RAM
              Interesting ... don't know why but it says that in Computer properties.

              Keke
              Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 12th September 2016, 16:19.
              J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
              The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kyuuketsuki View Post

                I'm sorry Scott but I don't want to do it that way, I want to build it directly on physical hardware.

                Keke
                Bear in mind that ESXi is aimed at server hardware rather than PC hardware - it might not recognise the NICs or other hardware without a custom build - you don't get any of that hassle if you go virtual.

                You'll need multiple ESXi hosts to learn many things, meaning you'll end up running a bunch of VMs with ESXi in them anyway.

                VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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                • #9
                  Hi Scott,

                  Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
                  Bear in mind that ESXi is aimed at server hardware rather than PC hardware - it might not recognise the NICs or other hardware without a custom build - you don't get any of that hassle if you go virtual.

                  You'll need multiple ESXi hosts to learn many things, meaning you'll end up running a bunch of VMs with ESXi in them anyway.
                  Yes, that's why I bought the machine I did ... well, apart from it being cheap. I work (or rather worked) with servers and this looked like a good bet. It is now running fine with ESXi vSphere 6 and I am currently using it for training purposes.

                  Yes, I know that vMotion and various other functions, the high availability ones in particular, won't work but you can't have everything at home can you ... it doesn't stop me learning

                  Keke
                  J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
                  The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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                  • #10
                    OK,

                    So (Scott) ... I've been thinking, so let me get this straight. You're suggesting that running my ESXi and everything else would be better from within another OS, either Windows or Linux? Using, I presume, either Hyper-V, VirtualBox or WMWare Player?

                    Although I can see that my current physical setup has limits in that I can't vMotion, can't really simulate SAN storage, I'm not sure what advantages it offers apart from allowing me use the host OS at the same time as the virtual host.

                    Also, it seems a bit confusing ... as things stand I have one host OS (VMWare ESXi) but your suggestion would mean three i.e. Windows/Linux hosting Hyper-V/VirtualBox/VMPlayer hosting ESXi (plus storage?) hosting virtual machines.

                    I mean it might be worth it if it was just Hyper-V, yeah sure but ...

                    Keke
                    J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
                    The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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                    • #11
                      Install Windows or Linux on the physical box, just so you can then run VMware Workstation Player or Virtualbox.

                      You can then create a bunch of VMs in Player or Virtualbox to run ESXi (at least 2 of those), vCenter Server, AD/DNS, and FreeNAS or an iSCSI target - a fully virtual ("simulated") vSphere lab - so you can setup and play with vMotion, HA, DRS, etc.

                      You can't do that with ESXi on the physical box because you can't access the VM console displays locally, but with Player or Virtualbox that's not an issue.

                      Plus you can blow away and rebuild the VMs as often as you want without impacting the physical OS, and you could also run other apps/services on that OS too.
                      VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
                        Install Windows or Linux on the physical box, just so you can then run VMware Workstation Player or Virtualbox.

                        You can then create a bunch of VMs in Player or Virtualbox to run ESXi (at least 2 of those), vCenter Server, AD/DNS, and FreeNAS or an iSCSI target - a fully virtual ("simulated") vSphere lab - so you can setup and play with vMotion, HA, DRS, etc.

                        You can't do that with ESXi on the physical box because you can't access the VM console displays locally, but with Player or Virtualbox that's not an issue.

                        Plus you can blow away and rebuild the VMs as often as you want without impacting the physical OS, and you could also run other apps/services on that OS too.
                        Hmmm ... It doesn't get past the host --> host --> host thing I mentioned earlier I realise that that is only on that machine and I will actually be accessing the vSphere from another machine and it may not feel like it.

                        I'm installing Hyper-V now since it makes sense as I have to learn that too.

                        Keke

                        EDIT: OK, looks like I can't run Hyper-V on Windows 10 (something about requiring SLAT capable CPUs). Oddly I can with Server 2012 so I've downloaded an evaluation edition and will use that.
                        Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 14th September 2016, 12:03.
                        J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
                        The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You won't need a separate physical machine for anything - you can build a wholly self-contained virtual lab on the single physical system, and Workstation Player will allow you to access the consoles of all the VMs directly.
                          VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scott28tt View Post
                            You won't need a separate physical machine for anything - you can build a wholly self-contained virtual lab on the single physical system, and Workstation Player will allow you to access the consoles of all the VMs directly.
                            Understood but I do really as I use the physical to play media as well which is why I chose 2012 as the physical system OS, it will allow me to play videos especially from YouTube which (if you find the right ones) invaluable as a training or familiarisation source. The physical is attached to my TV in my cellar/office (a.k.a. "man cave") ... I wonder what it would all look like on projector

                            Keke
                            J C Rocks (An Aspiring Author's Journey)
                            The Abyssal Void War: Stars, Hide Your Fires

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                            • #15
                              And using Workstation Player (to run vSphere in VMs) on top of say Windows 10 would have allowed you to do exactly the same

                              Ah well, you're all sorted now.
                              VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP 5 / VCAP-DCA4 / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012

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