I finally found a bit of "extra" spare time to update my Nested ESXi Virtual Appliances to support some of the recent releases of ESXi, 6.0 Update 3 and 6.5d, which enables customers to easily and quickly deploy vSAN 6.6 in their environment for testing, development or learning purposes. If you have not used this appliance before, please have a look at this article which goes into greater detail on how to deploy and use the Nested ESXi VA.
As part of this update, I also spent some time looking at all the feedback that I had received from the community since releasing the VA and I took this opportunity to also add some nice enhancements that folks have been asking about 🙂 Jump towards the bottom to see what's new. To reduce the number of VA's that I need to manage and due to usage, the following VA's have recently been decommissioned. I only plan on supporting the latest versions which you can find in the links below.
- ESXi 5.5 Update 3 (Nested_ESXi5.x_Appliance_Template_v2.ova)
- ESXi 6.0 Update 2 (Nested_ESXi6.x_Appliance_Template_v5.ova)
- ESXi 6.5 GA (Nested_ESXi6.5_Appliance_Template_v1.ova)
- ESXi 6.0 Update 3 Virtual Appliance (Nested_ESXi6.0u3_Appliance_Template_v1.0.ova)
- ESXi 6.5d Virtual Appliance (Nested_ESXi6.5d_Appliance_Template_v1.0.ova)
- Support for DHCP
- I know this might sound pretty basic but before you were required to specify a static IP (even if you had DHCP). By default, you no longer need to fill out the networking section as highlighted in yellow below.
- Support for default root password
- You no longer need to provide root password, it will default to the famous VMware1! The issue in the past was that I had randomly generated a password which I discarded and when the customization failed, it was very difficult to troubleshoot since I do not actually have the password 😉 Hopefully we do not have any other bugs, but this will make debugging easier and also reduce the amount of input if you want to quickly spin up an ESXi instance.
- Support for VLAN ID
- Though not a huge number of requests, there were still of you who asked for 802.1q (trunk) support on Management VMkernel interface. This is an optional field and obviously this is only applicable if you provide a static IP Address.
- Automatic removal of Customization VIB
- As some of you may or may not know, the way in which these OVF properties are processed within the Nested ESXi instance is a special firstboot script which reads in these values and then applies the ESXi customization. If everything is successful, there really is no use for this to exists further and although you could set a certain advanced setting to force re-customization, it was quicker to just re-deploy. With that in mind, the customization VIB is now automatically removed once its done its job. I have included a special debug option that would allow it to not be deleted in scenarios where there are issues and we need to take a look at the state of the system. With this change, you really now have a "vanilla" ESXi instance 🙂
- Fixed dvFilter param for eth1