Build a home lab using your local PC – Part 2 – Setting up ESXi, vMotion, and storage.

In the previous article, you could read how to install an ESXi server on your local PC using VMware Workstation. After successful installation to simulate a real work environment we need to set up a vMotion network and add a datastore.

Watch this step-by-step instruction video, subscribe to my channel:

Once installation is finished, we will be presented with a welcome screen where we can see details of our ESXi hosts. The details are default like hostname is set up to MyRouter, IP is from DHCP as well as IPv6 is set up.

To change settings we need to press F2 and provide the password we set up during installation. Next, we need to go to :

  • Configure Management Network -> IPv4, press ENTER
  • Select: Set static IPv4 address and network configuration, press SPACE bar to mark selection
  • Set up your desire IP address, Subnet Mask and Gateway
  • Press ENTER to save. You will go back to previuos screen
  • Go to IPv6 Configuration (optional)
  • Disable IPv6 (optional)
  • Press ENTER to save

NOTE: Disabling IPv6 will require a host reboot

  • Go to DNS Configuration (optional)
  • Select: Use the following DNS server address and hostname
  • Change hostname
  • As we do not have DNS server yet, we will not change Primary DNS Server
  • Press ENTER to save and go back
  • Press ESC
  • Press Y to apply changes, remember, if you disabled IPv6 host will reboot.
  • After reboot changes will be visible on the welcome page

To test your set up simply open the command prompt and try to ping your server:


Now it is time to log in to our ESXi host. Open the web browser and as again we do not have DNS yet, use your server IP to access it.

Accept security risk as we do not have a valid certificate yet. To login to your ESXi host use as username root and password set up during the installation process.

Let’s set up the vMotion network.

  • Go to Networks
  • Add port group
  • Now we will add VMKernel
  • Go to VMKernle NICs tab
  • Click on Add VMKernel NIC
  • Choose vMotion port group
  • Leave IPv4 as DHCP for now (optional, as you can assign IP if you wish)
  • Check vMotion in Services tab
  • Click Create
  • Once you have IP form DHCP you can edit VMKernel for vMotion (vmk1) and change from DHCP to static.

NOTE: Port groups with VMKernel will not have Virtual Machines.

  • If you have attached storage you need to repeat the steps to create portgroup and VMKernel for storage.

Let’s set up storage:

  • Go to Storage tab
  • You can check if you see your disks in Devices tab
  • Click New datastore
  • Provide name for datastore
  • Select devide
  • Select partition option (use full disk unless you planned otherwise)
  • Read summary page and click FINISH
  • You will see warning widows stating the entire content of the disk will be erased and replaced with specified configuration
  • Click YES to continiue
  • Datastore has been created

And at this stage, we are ready for the next step which will be installing DNS server. This is an optional step as we can have our infrastructure without DNS and using IP addresses. However to emulate the production environment, I am going to install DNS, and this will be a special DNS server. I will change something. Watch this space, subscribe to my Youtube channel to find out what I will do differently about the DNS server. New video soon!

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