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VMware on Equinix Metal

Learn to deploy a multi-node vSphere cluster with vSan support.

VMware on Equinix Metal

This guide describes how to deploy a multi-node vSphere cluster with vSan support enabled on Equinix Metal. vSphere is VMware's cloud computing virtualization platform. vSan is enterprise-class storage virtualization software. It allows you to manage compute and storage with a single platform.

You Will Need

  • An Equinix Metal account, with the ability to provision servers, and the ability to SSH into them.
  • Terraform, it is a single binary file. Visit their download page choose the specific OS. Once downloaded make the binary executable and move into your particular environment path.
  • Git Clone VMware repo here.

Downloading Terraform and Environment path

curl -LO
chmod +x terraform
sudo mv terraform /usr/local/bin/

Git and Clone VMware repo

git clone
cd vmware-on-packet

Initialize Terraform

Terraform uses modules to deploy infrastructure. In order to initialize the modules your simply run: terraform init. This should download five modules into a hidden directory .terraform

Setup an Object Store

You need to use an S3 compatible object store in order to download closed source packages such as vCenter and the vSan SDK. MinIO works great for this.

You will need to layout the S3 structure to look like this:
    |__ vmware
        |__ VMware-VCSA-all-6.7.0-14367737.iso

These files can be downloaded from My VMware. Once logged in to "My VMware" the download links are as follows:

You will need to find the two individual Python files in the vSAN SDK zip file and place them in the S3 bucket as shown above.

Modify Variables

There are many variables which can be set to customize your install within The default variables to bring up a 3 node vSphere cluster and Linux router. Change each default variable at your own risk.

There are some variables you must set with a terraform.tfvars files. You need to set auth_token and organization_id and the project_name which will be created in Equinix Metal. Make use of your compatible S3 solution, in our case MinIO, to download "Closed Source" packages such as vCenter. You'll provide s3_url, s3_bucket_name, s3_access_key, s3_secret_key as well as the vCenter ISO file name as vcenter_iso_name.

Here is a quick command plus sample values to start file for you (make sure you adjust the variables to match your environment, pay special attention that the vcenter_iso_name matches whats in your bucket):

cat <<EOF >terraform.tfvars
auth_token = "cefa5c94-e8ee-4577-bff8-1d1edca93ed8"
organization_id = "42259e34-d300-48b3-b3e1-d5165cd14169"
project_name = "vmware-packet-project-1"
s3_url = ""
s3_bucket_name = "vmware"
s3_access_key = "4fa85962-975f-4650-b603-17f1cb9dee10"
s3_secret_key = "becf3868-3f07-4dbb-a6d5-eacfd7512b09"
vcenter_iso_name = "VMware-VCSA-all-6.7.0-XXXXXXX.iso"

Deploy the Equinix Metal vSphere cluster

All there is left to do now is to deploy the cluster:

terraform apply --auto-approve

This should end with output similar to this:

Apply complete! Resources: 50 added, 0 changed, 0 destroyed.


VPN_Endpoint =
VPN_PSK = @U69neoBD2vlGdHbe@o1
VPN_Pasword = 0!kfeooo?FaAvyZ2
VPN_User = vm_admin
vCenter_Appliance_Root_Password = n4$REf6p*oMo2eYr
vCenter_FQDN = vcva.packet.local
vCenter_Password = bzN4UE7m3g$DOf@P
vCenter_Username = Administrator@vsphere.local

Connect to the Environment

There is an L2TP IPsec VPN setup. There is an L2TP IPsec VPN client for every platform. You'll need to reference your operating system's documentation on how to connect to an L2TP IPsec VPN.

MAC how to configure L2TP IPsec VPN

Chromebook how to configure LT2P IPsec VPN

Make sure to enable all traffic to use the VPN (aka do not enable split tunneling) on your L2TP client.

Some corporate networks block outbound L2TP traffic. If you are experiencing issues connecting, you may try a guest network or personal hotspot.

Cleaning the Environment

To clean up a created environment (or a failed one), run terraform destroy --auto-approve.

If this does not work for some reason, you can manually delete each of the resources created in Equinix Metal (including the project) and then delete your terraform state file, rm -f terraform.tfstate.

Last updated

May 30, 2023


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