gastonlabs.net

Random ramblings of an IT Systems Engineer

Category Archives: Home Lab

ESXi Install on 6th Generation i5 Intel NUC

Well that was actually pretty painless.  I was able to get ESXi 6 installed on the NUC with no need for a custom ESXi installation ISO.  I created the ISO using PowerCLI since I expected to have to go through multiple trial and error installs but it was not necessary. To create my ISO I used the following commands.

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

Get-EsxImageProfile -Name "ESXi-6.*" | Sort-Object "Name" -Descending | format-table -property Name,CreationTime

Export-ESXImageProfile -ImageProfile "ESXi-6.0.0-20160104001-standard" -ExportToISO -filepath ESXi-6.0.0-20160104001-standard.iso

I then used Rufus to write the ISO to a USB flash drive and booted from that drive to install ESXi to my SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB flash drive.  You can actually install back to the USB thumb drive you boot from since the ESXi installer caches all the files in memory but since I expected to have to go through multiple tests of the install I chose to use a separate drive.

I now have a working ESXi host running 6.0.0 Build 3380124 on my NUC.

Capture

On to the next task. Deploying a vCenter Appliance.

Building my VMware home lab

I recently decided to start building my own home VMware Lab.  I signed up for VMUG Advantage and after much debate I recently bought the following to get started.

Intel NUC NUC6i5SYH Amazon
G.SKILL 32GB DDR4 Kit Amazon
Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD Amazon
SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB Flash Drive Amazon

I eventually plan to buy a 2nd NUC and a Synology NAS but I wanted to get started on my build so I bought one just to get going. I chose the NUC for it’s low power consumption and compact size.  I have a 5th Generation NUC as my home desktop and have been happy with it up to this point so I thought I’d try it out as a lab device.

I originally planned to use an SD card as my boot device but much like fgrehl over at virten.net I have not been successful up to this point so I’m switching over to a USB flash drive.

I’ll be documenting my findings, frustrations and everything else here on the blog.