It’s taken a few days after getting the server to power on to get the OS (VMWare ESXi 7 vSphere) up and running. (Professional and familial responsibilities being things that are important to me.)
As it turns out, there is a permanently-installed little “tag” that pulls out under the buttons I initially mistook for power that gives you some numbers you need to begin administering your server. I spent some time getting familiar with OpenManage, iDrac, Lifecycle Manager and the BIOS. The firmware updates were not very intuitive and it took me a few times to get them right. Basically, you can’t update something to a version that is already installed, but it doesn’t warn you or error-out. It just doesn’t work and hangs.
Initially, I tried to mount a virtual drive to install ESXi from but I just couldn’t get it to work. Hours later, I gave up and scrounged up an old USB drive and made it bootable. Worked like a champ and the install was very easy and straight-forward. I rebooted the server and ESXi booted. Brilliant!
I’ve worked a lot with VMWare Workstation and Fusion. I’ve got a few VMs I use for work and a couple non-work VMs. ESXi vSphere was easy to pick up and the interface was largely familiar. Some things like setting up storage were new, but I got through them pretty easily. Creating an NFS connection to my NAS was a bit tricky, but not too bad.
At this point I started to gain some confidence that this was not all a stupid, expensive mistake. But, this thing is loud! And, it will be in my office for a few months while we have some extra bodies in the house.