Welcome to Wildcard IT Training.
This Workshop is titled “Create a Virtual Machine"
The objectives of this chapter are listed on the right.
Press the 'Continue' button below to begin.
In a previous Wildcard Workshop we installed ESXi 5.5 and logged into it for the first time.
We can see the vSphere Client is still connected to this server.
When we create a virtual machine we decide how much of our server resource is assigned to the virtual machine.
On the section on the right hand side of the screen titled 'Resources' we can see we have 4 x 3.199GHz of CPU and 16GB of memory available to be assigned.
There is also storage and network available. The storage is currently local, meaning the disks are physically in the server.
The network available is the same network that the ESXi server resides on.
Let's create our first virtual machine. Select the icon in the top left of the screen.
This begins the 'Create New Virtual Machine' wizard.
We are firstly given two options.
By default, we can create a virtual machine with 'typical' configuration options. This means we simply specify which operating system we are going to install on it and the wizard will assign the hardware appropriately.
For example, if we used this option and selected we were going to install Windows XP, the hardware resources assigned to the virtual machine would be significantly less than if we had chosen Windows Server 2012 R2.
In our case, we want complete control over the hardware resource assignment.
Select the 'Custom' radio box.
The column on the left of the screen now displays several more configuration steps that we need to process to create the virtual machine.
This is because the wizard will not make any assumptions or recommendations and will allow us to fully configure the virtual machine as we wish.
Press 'Next' to continue.
Our first task is to name this virtual machine.
We can name this whatever we want, as long as the name is unique.
We should remember that this name will not be the name of the server when we install the operating system. This name is only used for administrative purposes in vSphere.
The virtual machine we create will be used in a future Workshop as a vCenter Server.
A vCenter Server controls a cluster of ESXi servers to provide High Availability of virtual machines, amongst other benefits.
Name this virtual machine 'vCenter' and press 'Next' to continue.
Now we need to select the storage location of the virtual machine files.
At this point, we only have one datastore active. As stated previously, this datastore is local – meaning the disk(s) that make it up are physicall attached to the server.
In a later Workshop we will create a datastore shared amongst several ESXi servers.
Leave this datastore selected and press 'Next'.
We have three options as to which Virtual Machine Version we select.
The lower the virtual machine version number, the more compatible it is with older ESX/ESXi servers.
However, the higher the virtual machine version number the greater the functionality and performance of the virtual machine.
We should select the highest virtual machine version that our existing infrastructure allows.
In this case, we will only be deploying the latest version of ESXi so we can leave Virtual Machine Version 8 selected and press 'Next'.
We must specify the guest operating system to use with our virtual machine.
This decision affects the amount of virtual CPUs that we can assign the virtual machine and the supported devices. It is possible to change this at a later date if required.
This selection also creates default values for the amount of CPUs and Memory that is assigned.
Leave Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (64-bit) selected and press 'Next'.
We can choose the number of virtual sockets and the number of cores per virtual socket.
The number of virtual sockets is limited to the number of physical CPUs we have in our ESXi server.
The number of cores per virtual socket is limited to the number of cores per physical CPU.
We could select 1 virtual socket and 4 cores per socket. Our virtual machine would then be assigned 4 cores but they would all be on the same physical CPU.
In this case, change the number of virtual sockets to 4.
Select the drop down menu named 'Number of virtual sockets'.
Now select '4'.
This virtual machine will still have 4 virtual cpus assigned to it but they will all be from different physical CPUs.
There advantages and disadvantages of each method.
For licensing issues, there may be occasions where the operating system or application is only licensed to run on one physical CPU. If this is the case, we would ensure the number of virtual sockets is 1.
For performance issues, it may be advantageous to spread the load amongst physical CPUs. In this case, we would ensure the number of virtual sockets is increased.
Press 'Next' to continue.
We can now assign the amount of memory to this virtual machine.
We can over commit this and assign more than we have in the physical ESXi server. It is not recommended to do this and there will be performance issues as disk is used instead of memory if utilization is high.
Leave this at 8GB and press 'Next'.
In a future Workshop we will look extensively at virtual networks and virtual network interface cards (NICs).
We are connecting this virtual machine to the same network card, and therefore the same network, as the ESXi management.
Before we continue, let's ensure we have the latest virtual network adapter installed. Change the 'Adapter' from E1000E to VMXNET3.
A VMXNET3 virtual adapter emulates a 10Gb network card whilst a E1000E virtual adapter emulates a 1Gb network card.
This can offer us greater performance and reliability. VMTools must be installed in the guest operating system before the VMXNET3 adapter will operate.
However, there may be instances where the E1000E is a better choice. An example of this is a legacy operating system or application where greater compatibility is required.
Whilst we will only add one, it is possible to add multiple NICs.
Notice that the 'Connect at Power On' option is selected. This will ensure the virtual NIC is connected to the network.
Press 'Next' to continue.
Our choice of guest operating system selects the default SCSI controller option based on the drivers available in the operating system.
LSI Logic SAS Parallel or SAS are most appropriate for Windows Server virtual machines.
The VMware Paravirtual controller can offer slightly improved performance for very intensive I/O workloads.
In this scenario, leave the default selected and press 'Next'.
We must now create a virtual disk.
A virtual disk is simply a file that will reside on our previous selected datastore. It is possible to use an existing virtual disk but we do not yet have any in existence.
We do not have a Storage Area Network (SAN) setup currently but if we did we could create a Raw Device Mapping (RDM). This allows the virtual machine direct access to a SAN.
In this case leave 'Create a new virtual disk' selected and press 'Next'.
The size of this virtual disk is sized according to the guest operating system we selected.
We can alter this but in this case 40GB will be enough.
We can see that by default this disk will be thick provisioned. This means that the entire 40GB will be assigned immediately. Lazy Zero provisioning means the underlying storage is simply considered to be empty whilst Eager Zero provisioning erases all blocks that make up this 40GB.
A thin provisioned disk does not assign that space until it is written to, up to the 40GB we have specified. This can allow us to over commit our storage but can be dangerous as it is difficult to establish how much room is left in the datastore. Performance can suffer slightly in a thin provisioned disk when writing to it.
Leave 'Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed' selected and press 'Next'.
Finally, we can select the Mode of this virtual disk to be Independent.
This means that the virtual disk is not affected by snapshots.
A virtual disk is simply a file that resides on a datastore. When we create a snapshot, a new file is created and all future write operations are written to this new file (named a delta disk). Read operations can occur on the new or old file, depending on where the data resides.
This allows us to revert to a previous point in time. Reverting to a snapshot means the delta disk is discarded and the virtual machine now reads and writes to the original virtual disk.
Press 'Next' to continue.
We are given a summary of the new virtual machine settings we have configured.
Create this virtual machine by selected 'Finish'.
Our new virtual machine named 'vCenter' has been created and is listed underneath our ESXi host.
This is not powered on and therefore is not consuming any resources.
There is no operating system installed so this virtual machine does not serve a purpose currently.
We have completed the objectives of this chapter.
Press 'Continue' to review these objectives and view other relevant Wildcard Workshops.
The completed objectives of this chapter titled 'Create a Virtual Machine' are displayed on the right.
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Name this virtual machine:
Create a Virtual Machine
Create a Custom Configuration
Virtual Machine Storage
Virtual Machine Version