How to create USB Boot stick for ESXi

The Intel NUC has become a popular device for a variety of use cases. It's quite a powerful little box that can be used as a regular Windows/Linux machine, a Home Theater PC (HTPC), or a techie Test/Dev box for many different types of software, including VMware ESXi - and even vSAN! This will be a short blog post on setting up a USB boot stick for the installation of ESXi. The process used here can be put towards any other OS as well.

VMworld 2016 Barcelona - Hackathon

This post is about my experience with the VMworld 2016 Barcelona Hackathon. Since I had never participated in such an event, I wasn't sure about signing up. I hope that after reading this post, you consider signing up for any such Hackathon in the future, whether it is an internal event, VMUG gathering, VMworld, or any similar gathering of tech-geeks like me and many of the readers of this blog ;)

Burke's Home Lab

Since I'm preparing to write a short series of aritlces on my recent Home Lab purchases, I figured I should preface those articles with a little history on my current hardware...

During the summer of 2011 around June/July, I wanted to have a home environment to install, configure, and test things - you know, the typical techie Hands-On environment. My requirements were as follows:

  • Try to keep costs down
  • Try for quiet equipment
  • Minimize power consumption

This article will describe the original purchase and progression of the lab.


Book Shelf

Experts Exchange

NUC Lab Kit

Below are my thoughts for a vSAN nuc lab. Since I already have cables, not including them here. I ordered (and received by Nov 30, 2016)
3 x nuc, 3 x 32GB Crucial mem, 3 x Toshiba NVMe drive, 3 x Startech USB to GB NIC, and 3 x Crucial 1TB SSD. I've also been very happy with my Cisco SG300-10 so I bought one more since my existing one only has one port available. Each of the items listed here are linked below - all were purchased using the provided links below.
single NIC (See this post for details on using the USB -> GB NIC item listed below

I stayed with the i5 for the power consumption and form factor vs. the i7 Skull Canyon ;)