Every now and again, I run into weird things that just never occurred to me. It’s that one main danger of having too much experience. You start making assumptions as to how things should be configured and how they should work (a dangerous combination at times). Today was no exception. I wanted to finally finish building my environment by having View setup amongst other things. But no matter what I did, the ESXi hosts refused to stay put. vCenter and Active Directory were ok but ESXi just didn’t want to play. At first I thought it might have been a side-effect of using Chrome as the Web Client but even when switch to Firefox (Windows 2012 IE is way too locked down to be useful), I still saw the same behaviour.
I investigated the DNS settings on the ESXi host and realized that I had the wrong ones. I fixed that but still ran into issues. I was getting tempted to get an old network hub on the off-chance that my little network switch was causing challenges. But I figured it wasn’t that since I could connect from my MacBook to vCenter and the AD controller. I then pondered the possibility that there was another setting. It was then that I saw the IPv6 setting.
When building a home lab with ESXi, remember that unless you are using IPv6 turn you should (MUST!) disable the protocol on the management port after you’ve completed the ESXi installation. This can be done by connecting to the keyboard/monitor of the ESXi host and doing the following:
1. Press F2
2. Enter root and root password
3. Go to Management Network
4. Press Enter
5. Choose IPv6 Configuration from the list
6. Hit the space bar while Enable IPv6 is highlighted. This should disable IPv6
7. Escape out to save the settings, saying Yes to any questions and let it reboot
Since this requires a reboot of the ESXi host, it is a good idea to do this before creating any virtual machines. Once I addressed that, it all settled down.
So lesson learned. Don’t always assume that what was default before is still default again.