Minimal Nested vCenter 6 Lab – Preparing and Installing the vSphere Hosts

Preparing the VMs configuration

vCenter will have only one Mgmt vNIC, which will be used for management communication.

To simulate a highly available and redundant network, ESX hosts will have two vNICs from each network (Mgmt, vMotion, iSCSI and Data). The DC server will need two vNICs. One for the management network, and the other one for the iSCSI network.

The table below summarize the network configuration for each server.

Server vNIC Type IP Use
DC + iSCSITarget vNIC1 VMNet1 Management
vCenter vNIC1 VMNet1 Management


vNIC1 VMNet1 Management
vNIC2 VMNet1
vNIC3 VMNet2 vMotion
vNIC4 VMNet2
vNIC6 VMNet3
vNIC7 VMNet4 Data
vNIC8 VMNet4


vNIC1 VMNet1 Management
vNIC2 VMNet1
vNIC3 VMNet2 vMotion
vNIC4 VMNet2
vNIC6 VMNet3
vNIC7 VMNet4 Data
vNIC8 VMNet4


Let’s go ahead and create the servers in VMware workstation, no installation needs to be done as we will do it in the next post

An ESXi host VM configuration from VMware workstation with 8 vNICs would look like this


Once ESX1 is created, just full clone it to create the ESX2 VM with the same configuration. Choose a full clone while choosing a Clone Type in the cloning Wizard.


Our ESX VM hosts are now created. Still the DC (Domain Controller) and VC (vCenter) servers to create. As mentioned before, The DC server must have two vNIC; one for management and one for iSCSI connectivity as this server is also Target iSCSI server. However, don’t create the VC VM yet, as this will be done in the next post.

Here are our 3 servers created


I will not go through the installation of Windows box, as this is a pretty easy task. Installing the ESXi is also easy and self-explanatory. Screenshots will be quite enough to get the whole idea.

Installing the ESXi hosts

After mounting the ESXi bianries iso file, we’ll go ahead with the installation of the first host

ESXi host is now installed.

Let’s proceed with the postpone configuration.

-Two vmnic for the Management network

If for any reason, you cant see only vmnic0, check this excelllent post from Carl Gray


-IP address is

-DNS is and hostname is ESX1.contoso.local

-DNS suffix is “contoso.local”


Our ESX1 is now configured.


Let’s test Ping connectivity and try connect to the host through vSphere Client


InstallingESXiHost-TestingvSphereConnectivityInstallingESXiHost-TestingPingConnectivity InstallingESXiHost-TestingvSphereConnectivityInstallingESXiHost-TestingPingConnectivity InstallingESXiHost-TestingvSphereConnectivityInstallingESXiHost-TestingPingConnectivity InstallingESXiHost-TestingvSphereConnectivityInstallingESXiHost-TestingPingConnectivityInstallingESXiHost-TestingvSphereConnectivityInstallingESXiHost-TestingPingConnectivity

Everything looks fine. The exact same steps will be needed to install and configure ESX2.

In the next post, we’ll proceed with the installation of the vCenter Appliance.

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