Install VMWare ESXi on Dell PowerEdge 1950 III server

Later this week I will be installing VMWare ESXi for the first time.

It will be on a nice Dell 1U server and here are a few links and resources that I have gathered so far:

Compatibility list for VMWare ESXi versions:

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php

PowerEdge 1950 = good to go with the latest ESXi versions!

Install ESXi to a USB thumbdrive (so you can free a valuable SATA/SAS port for VM usage)

Install ESXi 4.0 to a USB device

Install ESXi 4.0 to a USB devicehttp://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/Boot_ESXi_from_USB_flash_drive.phpBelow are 2 processes for installing ESXi 4.0 to a USB flash drive. A prior method for ESXi 3.5 can be found here which would also work with 4.0. It uses WinImage instead of dd…

“You can install ESXi 4.x to a USB or SD flash storage device directly attached to the server. This option is intended to allow you to gain experience with deploying a virtualized server without relying on traditional hard disks. However, VMware supports this option only under these conditions:” More info… (vmware.com)

ESXi default username for root

Default username is root and there is no default password set, i.e. it is blank.

DRAC 5 usage:

I am excited to use the remote access features (similar to IPMI) of the Dell:

DocumentationInstalling and Setting Up the DRAC 5 

DocumentationInstalling and Setting Up the DRAC 5http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/software/smdrac3/drac5/OM53/en/ug/racugc2.htmIf a DRAC 5 is not installed on your system, see the Installing a Remote Access Card document that is included with your DRAC 5 kit, or see your platform Installation and…

The DRAC 5 default user name is root and the default password is calvin

[to be updated w/more info]

Additional resources:

How to patch and update a Dell Server running VMware ESX 3.5 | Mind Circus 

How to patch and update a Dell Server running VMware ESX 3.5 | Mind Circushttp://www.twistedethics.com/2009/04/18/how-to-patch-and-update-a-dell-server-running-vmware-esx-35/In this post, we’re going to run through patching/upgrading the firmware on a Dell PowerEdge 1950 III Server running VMware ESX 3.5.
Replace SAS with regular SATA II on Dell Power Egde 1950 - PowerEdge HDD/SCSI/RAID Forum - Servers - Dell Community 

Replace SAS with regular SATA II on Dell Power Egde 1950 – PowerEdge HDD/SCSI/RAID Forum – Servers – Dell Communityhttp://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/906/p/19292384/19545354.aspxThe harddrive controller on the 1950 server supports both SAS and SATA II hard drives but, [the only limitation is] they cannot be mixed on the same RAID volume.
Does Dell Power Edge 1950 support 3rd party hdds? - Page 2 - Web Hosting Talk 

Does Dell Power Edge 1950 support 3rd party hdds? – Page 2 – Web Hosting Talkhttp://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=756616&page=2The SAS drive (146GB 2.5-inch, 10K RPM SAS Hard Drive) bought with the server and the SSD I’ll be installing will be both 2.5″. Does the SSD have a SATA or SAS interface? As… [yes, a 3rd party HDD will work]

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