Get Started with VMware ESXi

After your ESX server is provisioned, the first step to accessing your server is connecting to the SoftLayer Private Network VPN. By default, all SoftLayer deployed VMWare servers only have the private network interface or bond configured with an IP address.  This is an additional security measure put in place to greatly limit exposure of the most sensitive aspect of your new ESX server to the public internet. As a result of this added security, the server will only be listening on a SoftLayer private 10.x.x.x IP address which is only accessible via the SoftLayer VPN or another one of your existing SoftLayer hosts with access to the same private vlan on which your new VMWare server resides on.

If you are not already familiar with the SoftLayer VPN, you can get more information about getting connected here: SoftLayer VPN

Once connected to the SoftLayer VPN, you should have now have a means to communicate with your new VMWare server.  ESX is managed by vSphere client which you can retreive from your new VMWare server by entering the private network IP address into a web browser then click the "Download vSphere Client" link on the resulting page.

Once the vSphere client has been downloaded and installed on your local workstation you can launch the application and supply your servers private address and login credentials.  Your login credentials will be located on the Devices page in the portal after your click the Passwords tab, and should look similar to the following:

Use the servers private IP address, root user and password in the appropriate fields of the vSphere client and press "Login" to connect.

Once connected to the server you should be able to navigate to your new ESX host by selecting "Inventory"

Your ESX host will be shown as an available node for configuration on the resulting page. From here there are a number of ways to deploy a virtual machine, a recommended method is to upload an installation ISO of your preferred operating system to the servers local datastore. Once the ISO is uploaded you'll be able to select the ISO as installation medium when a VM is created.  To upload an ISO to the servers datastore, highlight the server (represented by a server icon and its private IP address) in the far left pane and then select the "configuration" tab in the right pane.


Next, select "storage" under the "hardware" subsection, and ensure the "view" is set to "datastores." Right-click the data-store and click "browse datastore"

The resulting page will have a file manager that will allow you to browse, upload and download files to and from the datastore.  To upload an ISO, click the volume icon with the upward pointing arrow and select "Upload File."

Select the ISO file on your local filesystem that you would like to have uploaded to the datastore and then click "Open."

The ISO of your choosing should now be present in the datastore

Now that your install medium is on the VMWare server, you can proceed with creating your VM.