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VMware Installation and Configuration

VMware Installation and Configuration
by Michael T. Durham

As part of the CCNA Voice certification you must know some basic Cisco Unified Call Manager configurations and commands. The problem is that CUCM does not run on a router or switch; it runs on a personal computer or server. Since we also need to know other Cisco Voice products like Cisco Unity Connection (CUC) and Cisco Unified Presence Server (CUPS); this would require us to have at least three computers or servers in addition to the one we use to access the routers and web interfaces. That can be quite expensive for a home lab. Enter VMware.

What is VMware? VMware is a software program that allows you to run one or more operating systems at a time on a single computer or server.

VMware comes in three basic platforms; Player, Workstation and Server/Server ESXi. The Player and Workstation versions run on your personal computer under your current operating system and you run other operating systems inside of VMware. The downside to the Player and Workstation versions are that you need lots of RAM and it WILL slow down your computer. Trying to run your PC plus CUCM and CUC could slow down your system so much that you will want to at least get a second computer.

The Server and Server ESXi versions are full operating systems themselves and allow you to run many other operating systems under them. With the added performance of a server and not running under another operating system, you get the best of both worlds, performance and multiple operating systems running at the same time on one box.

VMware Workstation and Server are not free to use but are free to try; that’s the bad news. The good news is that VMware Player and VMware Server ESXi are free. However, they do require you log on to the VMware website and get a license or the software will not work past sixty days.

The Server ESXi version of VMware is what I recommend and use for all of my CUCM, CUC, and CUPS labs. You can find an old Dell of HP server for an affordable price but be sure it has a dual or quad core 2 gigahertz CPU (dual CPUs is even better), at least 8 gigabytes of RAM and 300 gigabytes of hard drive space. Another thing to look for is if the server’s processor(s) is 32bit or 64bit.

VMware quit supporting 32bit processors with version 4 of their software and finding a copy of version 3.5x is getting harder and harder and you cannot get a license for it on their website if you do find a copy. Therefore it is best to make sure the processor is a 64bit processor and that it supports virtualization before you spend your hard earned dollars. The good thing is that if you do have or can find a copy of the 3.5x version with a license, it installs exactly the same as version 4, 5, and 5.5. In this lab we will be installing 3.5x on a Dell 2650 server as I already have a license for this version of ESXi.

This lab is not a lab to learn all of the ins and outs of VMware as that is not part of the CCNA or CCNP Voice certification test. We need to learn the basics to install it and configure it to meet our basic needs.

For a more in-depth study of VMware, visit VMware’s website at: www.vmware.com

Equipment used in this lab:

  • Dell PowerEdge 2650 rack mount server 2.0Ghz CPU, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD
  • Personal Computer
  • Copy of VMware Server ESXi 3.5x or 5.x software

VMware Server ESXi Installation

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We will be working with the server part of the diagram above in this lab and using the PC to do some basic setup after the installation.

Installation of VMware Server ESXi is quite easy and the following steps with pictures will show you how. One important note about the above diagram and VMware; when you go to connect to the VMware server for the first time from the PC, they both need to be in the same subnet. Place the PC into the 192.168.2.x network by changing its IP address and the VLAN on the switch’s switchport. Once you have downloaded the certificate for VMware to the PC’s web browser, you can put the PC back into VLAN 3. If you do not do this step, you will not be able to manage VMware until you do. I will remind you of this when we get to that step.

Now that you have you Dell PowerEdge or HP server configured with 8 gigabytes of RAM or more and a 300 gigabyte hard drive or larger, let’s get started installing VMware Server ESXi. The server that I am using to gather the pictures for this lab will only run the 32bit version of VMware but the procedure and most screenshots are the same for the 64bit version. Also, my server has only 4 gigabytes of RAM and though you can load and run CUCM on it, there will not be enough resources to also run Cisco Unity which a lot of CCNA Voice labs will require. When we start CUCM, CUC, and CUPS labs, they will be done on a server that meets the minimum requirements above and be done on a 64bit machine.

Insert your VMware DVD into the CD ROM drive and turn on the server. If VMware does not start the boot up process, check your server’s BIOS configuration boot order. Make sure that the CD ROM is the first boot device. You may also need to make sure that the CD ROM is enabled. IF you have a server with a 64bit processor, make sure that virtualization is also enabled.

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The first screen that you will see if your server is booting from the CD ROM drive is the VMware Boot Menu.

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Just wait for the installation process to automatically begin.

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Once the files have been transferred to the server’s RAM, VMware will start and begin some self configuring.

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You will now begin the installation process by answering a few questions. The first question asks if you want to cancel the operation, perform a repair to an existing installation, or to install a new copy of VMware. Choose install by pressing the Enter key.

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Next comes the End User License Agreement (EULA) that you should read and then press the F11 key if you agree with it and want to continue the installation.

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The following screen asks you to select which hard drive you want to install VMware on to. If you system has more than one hard disk and you did not configure it as a RAID drive, be sure to select the correct disk. My system has two hard drives, one for the VMware and one to later install CUCM on. Note, the one in yellow text is the one you are selecting.

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Confirm and start the installation process by pressing the F11 key.

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Now that VMware has booted up, you will see a warning message on the screen if the server does not find a DHCP server. Do not worry about this message, we can access the VMware configuration console via the server directly. Even if your VMware server did find a DHCP server, I recommend that you change the server’s IP from a dynamic IP to a static IP by following the directions below. To begin, press the F2 key. We need to set a static IP address. To do this press the down arrow twice then press the Enter key to select the Configure Management Network option.

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On the screen capture above we can see that this server has an APPA IP address of 169.254.0.1 which is useless to us.

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For many years now, most servers have more than one network adapter installed in them from the factory. We need to select which network interface card we will be using and then configure it with a static IP address. From the figure below we can determine that vmnic0 is the one we have a network cable attached to. Take a second to look at the back of your server to see if your connect NIC is labeled with a 0 or a 1 and make note of it.

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If you need/want to change the NIC selected, just arrow down to the other NIC and press the spacebar to select it. When you have finished your selection press the Enter key and you will be taken back the Configure Network Management screen.

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Do not set the VLAN option as this will cause you issues when you try to access your VMware server management over your network.

Arrow down to the IP Configuration menu option and press Enter to select it.

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Highlight the Set static IP address and network configuration menu option by pressing the down arrow key once then press the Spacebar key.

Next arrow down to the IP Address option and enter your static IP address, 192.168.2.200. Press the down arrow once and enter your Subnet Mask, 255.255.255.0 and one more press of the down arrow key to set the Default Gateway address of 192.168.2.1. Press the Enter key to return to the Configure Network Management screen.

No other changes are required at this time. If you wish, you can set the DNS address to a public DNS server such as Google’s 8.8.8.8 or Level 3’s DNS server at 4.2.2.2. Press the ESC key to return to the main menu screen.

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The last step is to test your network connection. Select the Test Management Network menu option to test the network.

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Press the Enter key to begin testing.

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At this point we have tested and verified our VMware server’s network connectivity. If your test fails for the DNS server IP addresses, this means your network cannot reach the Internet. You may want to take a few minutes to trace down and resolve the problem. However, not being able to reach the Internet will not be an issue with VMware but it will be once you load CUCM and try to place a phone call using a SIP provider.

Press the ESC key three times to log out of the VMware management console screen. Your screen will now look similar to the one below. We are now ready to install the VMware vSphere Client software program. This program will allow you to upload your server software to the VMware server and configure it to run.

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VMware vSphere Client Installation

As we stated above, the vSphere Client software from VMware will allow you to up load your server software such as a Microsoft Server solution, Linux, or Cisco. The application that you want to upload to a VMware server must be in an .iso format. There are many freeware programs on the Internet that you can download that will turn a bootable CD or DVD into a bootable .iso file, however, that is not part of this lab.

The VMware vSphere client software is located on the VMware server and we download it to our workstation via a web browser by entering the VMware server’s IP address. But before we do that we MUST make sure that the workstation is in the same network as the VMware server. This is because the VMware server issues a security certificate to the workstation so that the VMware client can run. This certification is issued to the workstation at the time of downloading the software only. Once you install the certificate and the software, you can put your workstation back into the network of your choice.

The first step is to place the switch’s port for your workstation into the proper VLAN. For this lab we will need to temporarily put this port into VLAN 2 by issuing the following commands. To do this you need to connect a console cable to your computer’s serial port and to the console port on the switch. Then you need to run a terminal program such as Windows Terminal, Putty, Tera Term, or SecureCRT. Configure your terminal program for the correct COM port and set your data speed to 900, 8, N, 1.

Now open up a connection to your switch and enter the following commands. Be sure to use your correct port number for your workstation.

Switch>
Switch#en
Switch#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
Switch(config)#int fa0/3
Switch(config-if)#switchport access vlan 2
Switch(config-if)#no shut

The second step is to put your workstation into the VLAN 2 network by changing its IP address. Depending on the version of Windows, Mac OS, or Linux, your instructions on how to change the workstations network address will vary. For this lab we will be using Windows 7.

Click the Windows Start key clip_image048and enter the command: ncpa.cpl into the Search for programs and files box.

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This will open the Windows Network Connections window. Now right click on the Local Area Connection adapter and select the Properties option.

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Select the Internet Protocol Version 4 menu option and then click on the Properties button and change your IP address to be in the 192.168.2.x network. Be sure to not use an IP address that is already in use. Also, don’t forget to change the Default Gateway’s IP address too.

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Press OK several times to close all open windows.

The first thing we need to do is to verify that we can reach the VMware server from our workstation. Open a command prompt window and enter the following command: ping 192.168.2.200 and wait for a response.

After you have setup and tested this lab, please blog your experience below

Thank You,

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