ESX Server 3i Embedded Setup Guide : Setting Up ESX Server 3i : Configuring Network Settings : Configuring IP Settings

Configuring IP Settings
You can choose either manual or automatic IP configuration of the ESX Server 3i host. By default, IP configuration is automatic. The automatic setting enables DHCP to set the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. The direct console displays the IP address that DHCP assigns to the host. For future reference, VMware recommends that you write down this IP address.
For DHCP to work, your network environment must have a DHCP server. If DHCP is not available or not desirable, the host might be assigned the built-in default IP address, which is 169.254.0.1/16. You can use this default address to connect initially and then configure a static network address. The default subnet mask is 255.255.0.0. The default gateway is blank. If two hosts power up with no DHCP service, both hosts receive the default 169.254.0.1 IP address. No outbound traffic is allowed through this IP address. This is why the default IP address is not a long-term alternative to DHCP. It provides a temporary method to connect to the host so that you can configure static IP settings.
If you are not local to the host, you can use the VI Client to configure static IP settings, if you are on the same physical subnet and you configure the VI Client IP to be on the 169.254.0.x network.
If you are local to the host, you can use the direct console to configure static IP settings, including the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.
To configure static IP settings from the direct console
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From the direct console, select Configure Management Network and press Enter.
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Select IP Configuration and press Enter.
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Navigate to Set static IP address and network configuration.
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Select and delete the current IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.
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To configure static IP settings from the VI Client
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From the VI Client, select the host in the inventory.
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Select the Configuration tab and click Networking.
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Click Properties next to Virtual Switch: vSwitch0.
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Select Management Network and click Edit.
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On the General tab, click Use the following IP settings.
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Click OK.