The ProLiant BL460c G7, BL465c G7 and BL685c G7 server blades are certified with VMWare and were just listed on the VMware HCL.
To install ESXi with these blades, and to do a scripted installation with ESX, you need to use HP images, not the images available on vmware.com. This is because the standard VMware image does not have the required NIC drivers. With ESXi, and with scripted ESX installation, there isn't a way to add them during the normal installation process.
First, here's what's available for download from VMware on vmware.com :
- The base distribution for ESX and ESXi.
- The network drivers for the NC551i and NC553i network adapters. These NICs use the a controller from ServerEngines (a company now owned by Emulex), so the drivers are in the Driver CD for ServerEngines BladeEngine 10Gb Ethernet Controller package, currently at version 2.102.440.0.
Installing ESX 4.x ("classic")
Non-scripted Installation: For a simple (non-scripted) install of ESX classic you can download the base ESX ISO and the NIC drivers from VMWare listed above. The VMware install process gives the opportunity to insert the missing NIC drivers.
Scripted Installation: For a scripted (PXE or RDP based) install of ESX classic, the VMware install process does not have a mechanism for adding in missing drivers. To resolve this issue HP worked with VMware to create a custom image that includes the required drivers. This image is available from HP.com via the SW Depot download area. This custom image is the only route for a successful scripted install of ESX on the new G7 blades. The drivers that are included in this image are the same ones that are available for download from the VMware site.
Installing ESXi 4.x
HP publishes an HP image for ESXi that includes:
- HP management components – CIM providers
- NIC drivers that are required for HP servers that are not in the base image
The VMware install process for ESXi also does not have any means for adding drivers. The ESXi installer checks to see if there is a valid NIC driver on the image and will not allow the install to proceed if a supported NIC driver is not found. People using these new G7 blades must use the HP ESXi image. This HP image includes those same drivers listed above.
Management Agents (both ESX and ESXi)
Unlike the network drivers, the HP management components for ESX and ESXi can be installed after the base hypervisor from VMware has been installed. These compontents are available for download from HP.