As promised, here are slides to my #NotSupported session at VMworld Europe which I continued the theme of home labs with my vGhetto Lab #NotSupported presentation.

The idea behind the vGhetto Lab is to easily setup a vSphere home lab without too much effort and most importantly, leveraging as little resources as possible. This is all accomplished with the following:

  • Physical host running ESXi 5.x
  • ESXi 5.x offline depot image
  • VCSA 5.x (vCenter Server Appliance)

In addition to the above, you will also need to download the vGhetto Lab scripts which are shown in the video.
Here are some additional details on how to quickly get setup with your own vGhetto Lab.

Step 1 - After installing ESXi 5.x on your physical host, you will need to deploy the VCSA. Make sure you add a second network interface to VCSA as shown in the presentation. In my example, I created another vSwitch with no uplinks and portgroup for Auto Deploy network

Step 2 - Once the VCSA is powered on, go ahead and SCP the scripts to virtual machine. The first script that we will need to execute is the and you will need to edit the following variables:


Note: To ensure that you do not accidentally run the script without changing out the variables, there is another variable called ACTUALLY_READ_SCRIPT that needs to be changed from "no" to "yes" else the script will not execute.

Step 3 - Next we need to configure the vCenter Server, we will need to execute the which will configure the embedded SSO Database as well as the database of the vCenter Server. You do not need to edit any variables in this script

Step 4 - Finally, we need to configure our DHCP, TFTP, Auto Deploy services as well extracting the ESXi offline depot image and preparing it for use with Auto Deploy. You will need to edit the following variables before running the script.


Note: For the Image Profile and Auto Deploy rule creation, if you wish for the script to execute them automatically versus echoing to the screen, remove the "echo" statement as well as the double quotes from the following so the last three lines look like this:

pxe-profile-cmd create $(cat /tmp/VIBS) ${ESXI_REPO_DIR}
rule-cmd create -i pxe:${ESXI_REPO_DIR} ${AUTO_DEPLOY_RULE} vendor=='VMware, Inc.'
rule-set-cmd set ${AUTO_DEPLOY_RULE}

Step 5 - You are now ready to create your nested ESXi virtual machines. You can use RVC as shown in the presentation (there is a slide at the very end which lists the commands) or you can connect to vSphere Web Client and create the ESXi virtual machines the traditional way via the GUI.

After updating the DHCP configurations with the new MAC Addresses from your nested ESXi virtual machines, you should then see Auto Deploy automatically provision your ESXi hosts and join them to the VCSA you deployed earlier.

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