This guide describes the tasks you need to complete to configure ESX host networking, storage, and security. In addition, it provides overviews, recommendations, and conceptual discussions to help you understand these tasks and how to deploy a host to meet your needs.

Before you use this information, read the Introduction to vSphere for an overview of system architecture and the physical and virtual devices that make up a vSphere system.

This introduction summarizes the contents of this guide.

The networking information provides you with a conceptual understanding of physical and virtual network concepts, a description of the basic tasks you need to complete to configure your ESX host’s network connections, and a discussion of advanced networking topics and tasks.

The storage information provides you with a basic understanding of storage, a description of the basic tasks you perform to configure and manage your ESX host’s storage, and a discussion of how to set up raw device mapping (RDM).

The security information discusses safeguards that VMware has built into ESX and measures that you can take to protect your host from security threats. These measures include using firewalls, taking advantage of the security features of virtual switches, and setting up user authentication and permissions.

This section describes the host profiles feature and how it is used to encapsulate the configuration of a host into a host profile. This section also describes how to apply this host profile to another host or cluster, edit a profile, and check a host’s compliance with a profile.

The appendixes provide specialized information you might find useful when configuring an ESX host.

ESX Technical Support Commands – Discusses the ESX configuration commands that you can issue through a command-line shell such as secure shell (SSH). Although these commands are available for your use, do not consider them to be an API that you can build scripts on. These commands are subject to change and VMware does not support applications and scripts that rely on ESX configuration commands. This appendix provides you with vSphere Client equivalents for these commands.

Using vmkfstools – Discusses the vmkfstools utility, which you can use to create and manipulate virtual disks, file systems, logical volumes, and physical storage devices on the hosts.