Vmware Esx Server and linux environment
VMware ESX server is well-known to everyone who works in IT, so in this post I won't explain how it works and what can be done with it but I'll focus on its management in a linux based environment. In fact VMware tools are not so kind with linux users because they are almost windows tools.
A short introduction to the infrastructure
The VMware server is an hypervisor: in few simple words, Esx server can be considered like a "magic box" containing several operating systems, called virtual machines. This is a screenshot of how it looks like:
There is not that much that you can do from here: you can set the IP address, root password and few other things. This is a live demo provided by VMware:
But how to load, move, delete, start and stop the virtual machines provided by the ESX server ?
Well, there are several ways to handle these actions through different software, server side or client side. Here is a list:
- VMware Remote CLI aka Vsphere CLI: It's a set of softwares used through a terminal
- Ssh connection directly on the server: once logged in you can perform the same commands provided by the CLI
- VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client (aka Vsphere Client starting since the Esx version 4.0): it's a gui for windows providing a better user experience than the CLI and much more intuitive to use.
- Converter Standalone Client: it's a gui available for windows and linux used to upload and convert already existent VMware virtual machines to the Esx server
The aim of this roadmap is to show how to use Esx server tools into a linux only environment and to highlight some issues affecting the Esx server.
- How to install Esx server
- How to enable ssh on a Esx server
- How to install and run VMware Infrastructure Client on linux
- How to install and run VMware Converter standalone client on linux
- How to connect a serial port on a virtual machine
- How to shut down an Esx on power failure
- How to backup the virtual machines hosted in a Esx server