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  • Possible to install vCollab with VMware Workstation instead of EXSi?

    This is my first time dealing or installing the conference appliance, let alone virtually, and I would like to know if there is a way to use the virtual appliance on VMware Workstation (pro) instead of the full-blown EXSi server.

    I am wondering if it's something to do with the ISO installer, or is there a hardware-based reason I have to use EXSi?

    I don't have access to an EXSi server, which is why I am asking. Maybe Hyper-V is a better option if EXSi is a must-use for VMware-based virtual machines then?

    Any thoughts on the matter are welcome.

  • #2
    If you have the hardware to support the image the free version of ESXi works perfectly fine. The only major disadvantage would be the inability to back up the image easily and the limit on VMs you can have. As a VM environment, ESXi servers are easier to manage and always appear to work better than any of the players ever have.
    Last edited by Lance; 11-28-2022, 03:49 PM.
    Lance Paddock
    BTX | Business Telephone eXchange
    1(800) 289-0299

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    • #3
      The players also seem to require more resources since they are adding a guest host within a host as an application/shell.
      Lance Paddock
      BTX | Business Telephone eXchange
      1(800) 289-0299

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      • #4
        Just for a test, I actually attempted to install the ISO into a Workstation VM but it ended up failing with an error and wouldn't complete: "Disk "" given in clearpart command does not exist."

        I am guessing that this is because of some hardware requirement that is not being met or some other disk incompatibility with my setup. I tested the install on a host running on a Dell workstation powered by a i7-8700 and 16GB ram and 2x250GB SSD's in Raid 1 array. I am starting to think that this might not work. I guess I thought that it would just work on Workstation, like the Edge Gateway VM. I took a quick look on the VMware EXSi hardware requirements page and I think I might need to have a SCSI controller on the host for this to work.

        Is there any way of getting this going with my current hardware? Or should I just install ESXi on it and do it "like a big boy" and do it properly, according to the manual?

        One final question, and this is silly, but the installer asks for the IP of the "managing server" and I honestly don't know what that is referring to. I am pretty sure it's not the HQ server, is it the VM host server, or something else?

        Thanks for helping me out with this! Much appreciated!
        Last edited by SeanZ; 11-29-2022, 11:47 AM.

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        • #5
          If you use an older ESXi version (6.5 or so) or an older workstation/player version you should be ok as far as the hardware is concerned and it shouldn't really matter about the SCSI controller.

          Managing server, host IP, and anything related to those types of requests are the HQ and the service IP is usually the local IP of the device.
          Last edited by Lance; 11-29-2022, 01:30 PM.
          Lance Paddock
          BTX | Business Telephone eXchange
          1(800) 289-0299

          Comment


          • #6
            It appears some versions of vm workstation do care about the disk type. Adding a SCSI drive and re-running the setup without the default NVMe should resolve the "clearpart command does not exist."
            Lance Paddock
            BTX | Business Telephone eXchange
            1(800) 289-0299

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks so much for looking into this for me! I will try first with and older version of workstation I have one more question, regarding the versions and build numbers. Is the build version the same as the Connect build version, as in; 22.22.6100.0? And I assume that I should choose an older version of CentOS when it asks that as well?

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              • #8
                Putting the build version the same as the Connect version is what I do but I have also just random numbers with no ill effect. I also usually just put the same OS version that is displayed. I am sure if you add the emulated SCSI drive to your hardware in the VM player settings and then delete the 1st drive you should be able to resolve the current issue with no additional changes. Also, for whatever reason, it is easier to use DHCP and then edit the settings once the appliance is up.
                Last edited by Lance; 11-30-2022, 09:26 AM.
                Lance Paddock
                BTX | Business Telephone eXchange
                1(800) 289-0299

                Comment


                • #9
                  I want to thank you again, Lance, you're a goddamn CHAMPION.

                  I was able to install the vCollab iso file today, using VMWare workstation player (licensed) v15, but I could have likely used a newer version. I did as you said and deleted the old VM, created a new one based on CentOS v7 from scratch and added the generic SCSI adapter, deleted the printer and sound card for good measure, and set the disk, ram and CPU cores. I also made sure to enable Intel VT-x/EPT. After that I loaded the iso file and ran the installer. Chose DHCP on your advice (good advice, btw, way easier) and selected the current Connect build and the latest centOS version.

                  The install ran without a hitch. Looks good from here, thanks for the help again!

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                  • #10
                    I'm glad you got it all worked.
                    Lance Paddock
                    BTX | Business Telephone eXchange
                    1(800) 289-0299

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just as a final update to anyone else brave enough to try this in a production environment, I updated VMWare Workstation from v15 to the latest v17 and it worked with no troubles, so if you try this you should be able to safely install the vCollab directly to the latest version instead of an older one with no troubles as long as you prep everything as described above.

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