vSphere as a VM on VI3

Have a VI3 Infrastructure setup?  Need to test vSphere before you install it on your prod systems, but don’t have the hardware resources lying around to do so?  Then running vSphere as a VM is what you need.  I found several articles that detail how to do this if you’re running VMware Workstation but not much if you have ESX.

I followed the guides I found for Workstation and tried to apply them to ESX, but after vSphere was up and running the network connectivity just wasn’t working.   What I was missing was that the vSwitch on the physical VI3 ESX server needed to have Promiscuous Mode enabled.

As for configuring the VM shell for installing vSphere use the following settings:

  • 1 or more CPUs
  • 2GB or more of memory
  • Guest OS:  Linux/Red Hat Enterprise 5 (64 bit)
  • 1 or more NICs using E1000 (which is the default if you choose the above Guest OS so no need to hack the .vmx file)
  • disk 10GB or larger

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