Free software called Unetbootin can create bootable USB which is then used in case your system does not have CD/DVD drive, to install ESXi hypervisor. This free application can create the bootable ESXi 5 hypervizor from any system – Linux, Windows or Mac OS X.
In my case I have Mac OS X, for that I used it.
Here are the steps to create a bootable ESXi 5 USB stick:
- Download Free Unebootin software (use the version you need for you system: Linux, Windows, Mac OS X)
- Format the USB stick with FAT32 and make sure it could be read from Mac OS X.
- Use Unetbootin to select your VMware ESXi 5 iso file – VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.5.0.update02-2068190.x86_64.iso and with the dropdown arrow choose the correct USB drive from your system.
- Now, that’s all. You are done. Click OK to start the installation process. After, don’t forget to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to boot from USB.
I bought a new mini server HP ProLiant N54L Microserver from a friend, it was cheaper than another options. Included 4 disks with 2TB each. The specs says this server only support 8 GB of RAM but I found it could support 16 GB.
I then added 16GB of RAM (not a HP supported configuration, but a couple of blog post comments suggested some memory sticks worked), using 2 of these (Corsair XMS3 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 1333 MHz (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory, part number CMX8GX3M1A1333C9. Both doesn’t have ECC support but for a personal server is not a trouble.
The microserver’s only have 1Gb network port embedded, it’s enough for my personal lab.
Future plans include to install an EXSi for vRealize Automation lab mixed with my personal labtop. May be only I will install the vRealize Automation Appliance and IaaS Server on this hardware. The vCenter Server and AD machine will remain on my personal labtop, depends of the memory.
But first I need a new no-break.