Project: Allspark – ESXi 5

This is built on this set of hardware.

ESXi Installation on Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M
Custom build ESXi 5 with Broadcom BCM57781 NIC driver integrated

# Download driver for BCM57781 here:
# https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI50-Broadcom-tg3-3-120h-v50-2&productId=229
# Unzip the driver, we will need this file inside:
# tg3-3.120h.v50.2-offline_bundle-547149.zip
# Install VMware PowerCLI (google it and download, install it)
# Run this if you see PowerCLI asks you to check "get-help about_signing":
set-executionpolicy unrestricted
# Now time to build the new ESXi 5 U1 with BCM57781 driver integrated
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot ..\tg3-3.120h.v50.2-547149\tg3-3.120h.v50.2-offline_bundle-547149.zip
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot ..\VMW-ESX-5.0.0-LSIProvider-500.04.V0.24-261033-456178\VMW-ESX-5.0.0-LSIProvider-500.04.V0.24-261033-offline_bundle-456178.zip
Get-ESXImageProfile
Get-ESXImageProfile -name "ESXi-5.0.0-201205*"
Get-ESXImageProfile -name "ESXi-5.0.0-201205*"|format-list
New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20120504001-standard -Name ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom
Set-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom -AcceptanceLevel CommunitySupported
(Get-EsxImageProfile -Name ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom).VibList
Get-EsxSoftwarePackage
Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom -SoftwarePackage net-tg3
Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom -SoftwarePackage LSIProvider
Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom -ExportToBundle -FilePath "ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom.zip"
Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom -ExportToISO -FilePath "ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom.iso"
Compare-EsxImageProfile ESXi-5.0.0-20111204001-standard ESXi-5.0.0-20120511001-Custom
# Note filenames are time sensitive, it might be a newer datetime when you are reading this
# Source: http://tinkertry.com/z77-vmdirectpath/
# Now download syslinux 3.72 (newer versions might not work) for USB boot support
wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/3.xx/syslinux-3.72.zip
# Then do this:
# First format your USB with FAT32
# In Windows 7 command line, run: (DRIVELETTER is your USB drive letter)
win32\syslinux.exe -mfa DRIVELETTER:
# Copy the content of your custom built ESXi 5 iso to the USB, and rename:
# isolinux.cfg to SYSlinux.cfg
# isolinux.bin to SYSlinux.bin
# Source: http://vm-help.com/esx40i/ESXi_USB_install.php
# Last just pop in the USB and install, make sure in ESXi you are using the correct adatper, if you have multiple NICs, after restarting ESXi's management network, the Broadcom NIC should work.

Now ESXi can be accessed by using VMware vShere Client

Install VMware vSphere Client (Google and install it)
Run VMware vSphere Client
In VMware vSphere Client:
Inventory -> Configuration -> Licensed Features -> Edit -> Assign a new license key to this host
(The license key can be obtained free from VMware where you downloaded ESXi 5)

Project: Allspark – Hardware

Case: Fractal Design Define Mini $129
CPU: Intel I7-3770T $280
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M $205
Memory: GSkill ARES F3-1600C10D-16GAO 2x8GB $129
SSD: Kingston SSDNOW S50 16GB $45
Misc: Various HDD cables $45
PSU: PicoPSU-160-XT & EA11803A-120 $60 (2nd hand)
HDD: 2TB Samsung HD204UI $110 (2nd hand)

For software side of this story, continue reading here.