ESX Installation Best Practices

This is an interesting post Leo Raikhman wrote about the ESX / VC installation best practices:

I get asked this all the time: what is best practice installation procedure?

I don’t know that there is such a thing - every environment is slightly different but here’s my general outline for ESX 3.5 + VirtualCenter 2.5 attached to Fibre SANs.

Installing VirtualCenter 2.5:

  • Install SQL 2005 + SQL Native Client
  • Patch SQL 2005 to SP2 + associated updates
  • Enable SQL clustering if relevant.
  • Create SQL DB with SQL-authenticated user as db_owner for the msdb and newly created databases (for VMware VirtualCenter and VMware Update Manager)
  • Create an ODBC connection with above information on targeted VC server
  • Install VirtualCenter
  • Add VirtualCenter server IP to Exchange Relay Access rulesets
  • Configure VirtualCenter SMTP settings, alarm definitions and Message of the Day
  • Copy/install sysprep/deployment tools files
  • Create required customizations
  • Create a datacenter object
  • Create a cluster object
  • Configure HA + advanced HA with VM HA monitoring
  • Configure DRS + separation rules
  • Install Update Manager - sync ESX host updates with VMware downstream servers
  • Configure VirtualCenter certificates as per this article from the excellent VM/ETC

Read the full post here.

Posted by Gabriel Maciel

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