When installing ESXi on a Hetzner Root Server, tell tech support what you are trying to do and they will be helpful and your job will be much easier.
To replace my very old root server, I ordered a brand new root server with www.hetzner.de. At the time of writing, this EX51 is configured with:
- Intel® Core™ i7-6700 Quad-Core
- 64 GB DDR4 RAM
- 2 x 4 TB SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 rpm HDD
To get the machine running with ESXi (which does not support software RAIDs, so a Hardware RAID Controller is necessary) I added those options to the machine.
According to the price policy of Hetzner, this “Flex-Option” (= anything to add to the machine) comes with 15€/month + 25/month for the controller. Nice sum…
Try to install via KVM console
My first attempt to follow the docs did not work out. I did get the KVM console attached by hetzner’s techs and was able to boot from the provided ISO, but ESXi 6.5 does not support the built-in adaptec RAID controller by its own – so I got stuck there, not being able to install ESXi to the machine.
Searching the web I found some old post where someone mentioned that Hetzner would be able to supply a “preconfigured ESXi” (did not find anything like that on their wiki, though…)
So I sent a support request to hetzner’s tech team, asking for advice. Even on a Saturday morning, within a couple of minutes, tech support replied. Preconfiguration was not available anymore, but “without any warranty” they can boot the machine with an ISO that already contains the driver.
So they plugged in the USB stick with the image and added a KVM console again. Booting took much less time from USB and the whole thing was done within a couple of minutes…