Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enabling Root Access for ESX Servers

The name of the blog is "Techbytes" which could be taken as a journal about technology in which I write about it, and hence "bytes" constitutes the data being posted, or it can mean that sometime technology "bi(y)tes us. Both are true.

I want to write today more about VMWare, and specifically about ESX server. If you ever talk to me about virtualizing servers, you will hear my praises for VMWare. I think they are hands down the best. No, this is not a forum for arguing about which is best. Sorry.

Here is a little bit of a byte. I have been using VMWare going way back to when it was Workstation 1.x/2.x or whatever. I went through the GSX server days using both products in production by the way, and successfully. Later I grew up to ESX, then added ESXi to my experience.

Enough of that. I love Veeam FastSCP. Why? One it is free. I have used it successfully with both ESX and ESXi now since version 3 supports both. The problem is that it will not work out of the box, you have to do some more work on both ESX and ESXi. In ESX you have to enable "root" access for SSH. This is not simple to do especially for maybe a newbie or maybe if you are just me ;=)

If you install Veeam FastSCP and you try to add ESX Server to it, it will fail when you put in the "root" user and the password with an error about not being able to elevate root.

Fortunately, the guys over at Veeam have another product called "Veeam RootAccess". Now, when you install that there is a license requirement, but you do not need it, just pick the "Enable Root Access" only product. It is free. In other words, when you download the install, it will give the option of either. Oh, and you have to create an account on their site. But that is OK.

Ok. So you have installed it. Here are some screen shots to show you what to do:

1. In Configurator: RootAccess, Click on Add Server


2. Used default or custom username, usually it is root. This is the root account and password you gave when installing ESX Server


3. After you click Next, if the process is successful, you will see your server added in.


4.Right Click your server and run the root access template



5.Read, and select Next


6. Select Next


7. Next


8. Here you will see a "RED X" on root access. It is not here because I already did it before. Select your server, and select Next


9. Next (If all goes well, you will have root access)


10. Now in Veeam FastSCP, Add Server


11. Enter IP and select Next


12. Enter info, and Next


13. Select Use Service Console, and Next


14. Voila


15. Your server


I guess the next question would be: Why would I want to do all of this? Well, I will blog on that if it is necessary. But with Veeam FastSCP you can now copy files to and from ESX/ESXi - this is specially useful in transferring iso files back and forth. It really has been a life saver for me.

Delco

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