How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB?

By | April 30, 2015

Sometimes we need to upgrade our ESXi hosts with installed 3rd vSphere Installation Bundle (VIBs). Before I show you how to customize ESXi image (using Image Builder), let's clarify some important things about VIBs. VIB is comprised of three parts:

  1. A file archive - contains the files that make up the VIB.
  2. An XML descriptor file - describes the contents of the VIB.
  3. A signature file - is an electronic signature used to verify the level of trust associated with the VIB. There are four acceptance levels:
  • VMwareCertified:  VIBs created and tested by VMware.
  • VMwareAccepted:  VIBs created by a VMware partners that are approved by VMware.
  • PartnerSupported:  VIBs created and tested by a trusted VMware partner.
  • CommunitySupported:  VIBs created by individuals or partners outside of the VMware partner program.

 

ESXi image customization - prerequisites

There are two prerequisites:

  • The VMware PowerCLI installed on a Windows platform. You can download it here.
  • ESXi depot (.zip file). You can download it from https://my.vmware.comHow to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 8
  • 3rd offline bundle (.zip file) including VIB(s). In my case Cisco VEMHow to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB

 

Customizing ESXi image

OK, let's customize our ESXi image. I will add Cisco VEM to the ESXi image and export it to ISO and bundle .zip file.

  1. Start the VMWare PowerCLI application.

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 9

    VMWare PowerCLI

  2. Load the ESXi depot by using the command:

    Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -depoturl path_to_ESXi_bundle_zip

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 2

  3. Display the image profiles by using the command:

    Get-EsxImageProfile

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 3

  4. Load the Cisco Nexus 1000V VEM offline bundle by using the command:

    Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -depoturl path_to_3rd_bundle_zip

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 4

  5. Clone the ESXi standard image profile by using the command:

    New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile Image_Profile_name -Name new_profile_name -Vendor vendor_name

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 5

  6. Get VEM package name and add into the cloned image profile by using the commands:

    Get-EsxSoftwarePackage cisco*

    Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -SoftwarePackage package_name -ImageProfile Image_Profile_name

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 6

  7. Export the image profile to an ISO and zip file by using the commands:

    Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile Image_Profile_name -FilePath path_for_iso_file -ExportToIso

    Export-EsxImageProfile -ImageProfile Image_Profile_name -FilePath path_for_zip_file -ExportToBundle

    How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB 7

We have created a customized ISO and bundle (.zip) files. Now you can use VMware Update Manager (VUM) or ESXCLI to install/deploy it on ESXi hosts. 🙂

Author: Mariusz

Architect (~ 15 years experience based on passion...) with strong background as a System Administrator and Engineer. Focused on Data Center Solutions: Virtualization/Cloud Computing and Storage/Backup Systems. Currently living in Poland.

2 thoughts on “How to create customized ESXi image: ISO or zip (bundle file) including 3rd VIB?

  1. Swapnil

    Thanks for this post it is really helpful..i am going to try it. However can you please suggest from where i should download "offline bundle (.zip file) including VIB(s)" We are having Cisco UCS i can see the file "VEM550-201401164104-BG-release.zip" but in your screenshot it shouws 2015 file which i am not seeing from where i can get it? Kindly suggest? Also how do we know which VEM file we will need or it can be any and depneds on Vendor? Please help...

    Reply
    1. Mariusz Post author

      Hi,

      VEM550 is a Cisco Nexus 1000v bundle. What exactly do you want to add to ESXi image? Cisco Nexus 1000v bundle is available in the Cisco Nexus 1000v installation zip. Sometimes, the latest VEM is available here.

      Reply

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