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I use ESX server 3.5.0 and I have created 32 instances(VMs) on this machine by cloning the same vm.These instances are not on network yet but I have configured ESX service console and it is on network. I want to access these vm instances from ESX console. So is there any command on ESX console to connect to these vm instances.

More specific question:

Is there any way I can execute one same command on all vm instances from ESX console. For example I want to execute 'chkconfig --level 4 iptables off' command on all vm instaces. Currently what I do is I go to each individual instances and execute this command. Is any way that I execute this command only on ESX and it gets executed on all instances.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Typically the SC is on a 'proper' routable network to allow for management, if you want the SC to deal with the VMs in any way (and it's a very bad idea by the way) you need to put the VMs on the same network as the SC or one that is routable from the SC.

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Something like the Vmware Management Assistant VM available for download from VMware is probably the way to go instead of using the Service Console. – dunxd Feb 16 '11 at 11:46
+1 hell yes, I lurrrrve my vMAs - I set mine all up to act as per-datacentre syslog machines, such a nice way of doing it. – Chopper3 Feb 16 '11 at 11:49
Thanks for this answer, my SC is on the same network, I will try to do what is suggested here. otherwise I will proceed like you all suggested doing it one by one. Thanks. – stillStudent Feb 16 '11 at 12:01

Nope, not from the ESX console. Just because these are VMs, doesn't mean you can do batched actions within them from the ESX side of things. You'll probably have to do this the same way you would do it with 32 physical machines - pssh, puppet, etc.

/edit - missed the fact that there's no network enabled in your VMs yet. Yeah, so @dunxd has a good point - enable DHCP first, then make all your clones, then do your setup management. Just like if you had 32 physical machines.

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I don't think you can access the OS directly from an ESX host, and until you network those machines you aren't going to be able to run commands on them through SSH. Since you are switching IP tables off, I am assuming that you don't have a security policy in place that requires IP tables (or any firewall) is switched on before connecting them to the network.

So I suggest switching the network on, allowing DHCP to configure the IP address and DNS entries for each host and then use SSH (via a script) to do your configuration tasks.

Functionality similar to what you are thinking of exists in Xen, although this also requires a network connection to get the commands through.

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Thank you very much. I was also thinking of using DHCP but in our lab environment we are not allowed to use DHCP that's why I was searching for other ways. – stillStudent Feb 16 '11 at 11:32
If you have vCenter you could define an 'IP Pool' which acts as a DHCP server but JUST for your VM vswitches, i.e. it doesn't go 'off host' – Chopper3 Feb 16 '11 at 11:35
I don't think the IP pool functionality is available in ESX 3.5. – dunxd Feb 16 '11 at 11:40
OK, I have virtual center if I can use that only for my vm switches then I think that is the best way out for me. I will use this way. But need to check it for ESX 3.5. – stillStudent Feb 16 '11 at 12:04

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