Before installing VMware vSphere ESXi 7 on your server, it is better to check the requirements in advance. For VMware vSphere installation, you can download the ISO file from this link after logging in with your account. But this ISO does not include the required drivers for the target system. That might result in problems with the virtual machines on your server in the future.
To prevent this possibility, hardware manufacturers customize the VMware ISO file and add the required drivers to publish it on their sites. You can also find suitable ISO files with drivers for your hardware at this link. In this post, we will also download an ISO file with drivers from the manufacturer’s website as an example.
In this article, we will show downloading an ISO file for PowerEdge R440 Rack Server produced by Dell.
Before proceeding, you should check whether your current hardware supports ESXi software. Otherwise, your installation may be interrupted.
- ESXi 7.0 requires a host with at least two CPU cores.
- ESXi 7.0 supports a broad range of multi-core of 64-bit x86 processors. For a complete list of supported processors, see the VMware compatibility guide at this link.
- ESXi 7.0 requires the NX/XD bit to be enabled for the CPU in the BIOS.
- ESXi 7.0 requires a minimum of 4 GB of physical RAM. Provide at least 8 GB of RAM to run virtual machines in typical production environments.
- To support 64-bit virtual machines, support for hardware virtualization (Intel VT-x or AMD RVI) must be enabled on x64 CPUs.
- One or more Gigabit or faster Ethernet controllers. For a list of supported network adapter models, see the VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
- ESXi 7.0 requires a boot disk of at least 32 GB of persistent storage such as HDD, SSD, or NVMe. Use USB, SD, and non-USB flash media devices only for ESXi boot bank partitions. A boot device must not be shared between ESXi hosts.
- SCSI disk or a local, non-network, RAID LUN with unpartitioned space for the virtual machines.
- For Serial ATA (SATA), a connected disk through supported SAS controllers or supported onboard SATA controllers. SATA disks are considered remote, not local. These disks are not used as a scratch partition by default because they are seen as remote.
For more detailed information please visit this link.
Downloading customized vSphere ISO file
To download the vSphere ISO file with the drivers of the Dell PowerEdge R440 hardware, we need to check the Dell Support page and search for the serial number of the product.
Click on Drivers & Downloads on this page.
Select VMware ESXi 7.0 in the Operation System field and type ESXi in the search box. Currently, VMware ESXi 7.0 U3 is the latest version. Click on older versions to download.
The latest version looks like 7.0 U3, A05. Select this version.
Download the customized ISO file which can be seen in the screenshot below. Then create a bootable installation media by using a bootable USB drive-creating software. We recommend Rufus for this process.
vSphere 7.0 installation
Now we can proceed to the installation steps. ESXi screen appears and boots, wait for a while.
When the following interface appears, press Enter to continue.
This is the end user license agreement interface. We must accept those terms by pressing F11 to continue.
Select the disk on which ESXi 7 will be installed, then press Enter. If you have VMFS-3 datastores, it will automatically upgrade these datastores to VMFS-5.
Now select the desired keyboard layout of your preference.
You are now asked for a root password to be created for ESXi. Do not forget this password; if you lose it you may need to reinstall vSphere 7.0 again.
Now, confirm the installation by pressing Enter.
The installation process will take some time depending on the hardware.
The installation process is now complete. Press Enter to proceed.
Congratulations! You have successfully installed the ESXi software. In the next step, we will connect to our server via the web by configuring our network settings.
After completing the installation process, press F2 to configure the network settings. You will need to enter your root password here.
Highlight the Configure Management Network item in the menu and press Enter.
Select the IPv4 Configuration item in the menu and press Enter.
Configure the settings according to your network and press Enter.
Enter the DNS Configuration menu item to edit the DNS information.
Enter your preferred DNS information and press Enter.
Then press the ESC key to save the changes. Press Y to restart your network card to activate changes to your network card.
Congratulations! You can now connect to your server from the web interface by typing the IP address you defined for your device in your browser.