AutoLab automation uncovered, ESXi builds

Hi, it’s Alastair again, this is the third post uncovering the automation that is in the AutoLab. If you don’t know what the AutoLab is then head to my AutoLab announcement post. If you missed the first article on AutoLab automation then you can head there now, then read the second post before returning here.

A rather important part of the AutoLab are the ESXi servers.  The server basic builds are automated using a PXE server and the Weasel installer that has been part of ESXi since 4.1. Weasel doesn’t require PXE, it is perfectly happy with CDROM or USB boot, the AutoLab uses PXE to allow central management which makes scaling easier. PXE requires two services, a DHCP service and a TFTP service. In the AutoLab both are provided by the DC VM, the DHCP service is the standard Windows DHCP and the TFTP service is the Jounin TFTP server.