I just bought a dedicated server on online.net I have a public and a private ip. I installed esxi from their panel and I can connect successfully with my vsphere client.

The problem is this: I want to create some instances and I want to give them different private ips. I also want to create some NAT rules to forward all users coming to my public ip port 80 to a specific instance.

How can I do that?


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VMware ESXi is not a firewall or a router. Either ask your provider if they can give you a firewall/NAT service with the ESXi host behind it, or do the work yourself.

In basic terms: ESXi must have a dedicated IP address for management features. If your only choice is to expose the ESXi management directly to the internet then you'll need a second IP address.

Once you have the second IP address you can create a new port group with a different VLAN. This will be your internal network. Set up a new VM with two network cards, one internet-facing and one facing to the internal network. Install whatever OS you want as a firewall/router, and go from there.

  • Thanks, I was missing this requirement: ESXi must have a dedicated IP address for management features. So basically I can't do what I need with the current settings. Thanks! – Simone Falcini Nov 3 '13 at 20:24

This functionality isn't built in to ESXi. It is built into libvirt, so you might want to consider that. Red Hat has lots of documentation (an installation and configuration guide plus an administration guide) , but of course it's supported on many linux distributions.


We. get. these. questions. often.

I'm very surprised that people wish to run VMware this way...

Out of curiosity, how many VMs will you have running on this setup? What are the server specifications?

The key here is that you want some level of manageability. I'm against the idea of using your single ESXi host as a firewall/gateway (with a dual-addressed VM) because that's not an easily-managed setup. E.g. what happens if the host needs a reboot?

I would lean on your hosting provider to add a firewalling solution in front of your ESXi setup. You may also want to take this opportunity to order more static IP addresses for flexibility later.

  • The server is this: bit.ly/17AVbEy. I want to have at least 3 instances: 1 nginx, 1 mysql, 1 squid. – Simone Falcini Nov 3 '13 at 20:20

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