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VMware Cookbook, 2nd Edition by Ryan Troy, Matthew Helmke

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Chapter 7. Automating ESXi Installations

Given the recent progress of ESX and ESXi, we can now automate the installation of the hypervisor using a few different methods, which we will discuss in this chapter. When deploying, upgrading, or configuring new ESXI servers, the last thing you’ll want is to have to step through the complex startup process manually. It’s slow and error-prone, and practically negates the value of virtualizing your servers in the first place. Nearly every site, therefore, automates the startup. VMware uses a customized version of Red Hat’s Kickstart to allow the bulk installation and startup of ESXi.

7.1. Selecting a Different Boot Option with ESXi 5.x

Problem

You wish to upgrade or install ESXi.

Solution

We’ll discuss the available methods that set the foundation for the remaining recipes in this chapter.

Discussion

Traditionally, system administrators installed ESXI servers from an ISO image using DVD/CD-ROM or USB key. Other ways are currently available as well. We discuss all the options here.

Download and create DVD/CD-ROM media

This is the simplest option. Here you download the ISO image from http://www.vmware.com and burn it to media. Whether you are upgrading an existing installation or performing a fresh installation, the installer will interactively walk you through the upgrade process.

Creating a bootable USB key for installation or upgrades

As the capacity of USB drives grows, it’s more attractive to use them for installing ESXi. They are easier to manage ...

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