VCSA 6.5 Build / Home Lab – easy huh?

Lets Deploy a VCSA to Manage The Hosts

So being in IT, and, coming from an Infra background, of course I have a lab. Its comprised of a few underpowered N40L Hp MicroServers, nothing spesh, but they have 16GB of Ram. Ideal for vSphere hosts, albeit, not up there on processing power.

So with the advent of 6.5 and an upcoming migration project, lots of unanswered questions arose. Well lets build a lab, can’t do it at work, so, where else – the home lab.

DL the usual 60 day free trial VCSA. No issues thanks #vkarpz

Unlike alot of other deployments, I expected an OVA or OVF, but no, we get an ISO this time around. Get those installer files unpacked from the ISO, run the installer. Follow the bouncing ball, this is pretty simple I thought.

So you need DNS. OK. Resurrect my old 2k8 DC, bang, we have DNS. Oh yeah.

Build VCSA with a registered DNS / IP – sorry – no dice. Failed to ifup at 98%. Thanks for that. Google the shit out of it ; lots of complaints about DNS. Check my DNS, Forward OK, Reverse, AOK.

W T F?

No amount of Googling like all IT experts do found a solution. DNS. No. NTP set to host. No. So we get creative. Screw you DNS.

  1. Build VCSA as 192.168.0.28, with 192.168.0.1 (completely invalid) DNS server, no host name, just as ip address! No DNS entry for .28 in my DNS server.
  2. The thing builds OK. Double WTF
  3. Go to console of 192.168.0.28:5480. Sure I can get to it. OK. So thats a start, follow the bouncing ball to configure and fail at DNS – can’t resolve host name. Installer crashes out – can’t configure host name – ‘internal error’. Start again.

  4. Again, build VCSA as 192.168.0.28, with 192.168.0.1 (completely invalid) DNS server, no host name, etc.
  5. The thing builds OK as expected.
  6. Add DNS for .28 Forward and Reverse.
  7. Jump onto vSphere host as root, open console.
  8. F2 to customise it ; put in password.
  9. Add proper DNS server, DNS, FQDN and suffix. Save config. Restart management network hell yeah.
  10. Go to web URL https://192.168.0.28:5480 to configure. Works. Woohoo. Furthest we’ve been yet!
  11. Select to Configure VCSA.
  12. The proper details from the VCSA appliance will be read in – make sure you confirm they are right. Select NTP (I use au.pool.ntp.org)
  13. Continue on and configure away . I did a single site (Tiny) config with single PSC nothing special so I could get this going

Gotchas

Firefox FTW. Chrome is sort of OK. Safari, the console didn’t work for me. I had the best experience with Firefox.

If you have to console to your vSphere host as root, and that stupid error keeps popping up, escape past it and keep going. It still works. Theres a rumoured fling to fix it.

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