Provision the VM-Series Firewall on an ESXi Server

Use these instructions to deploy the VM-Series firewall on a (standalone) ESXi server. For deploying the VM-Series NSX edition firewall, see Set Up the VM-Series Firewall on VMware NSX.
  1. Download the OVA file.
    Register your VM-Series firewall and obtain the OVA file from the Palo Alto Networks Customer Support web site.
    The OVA file contains the base installation. After the base installation is complete, you must download and install the latest PAN-OS version from the support portal. This ensures that you have the latest fixes implemented since the base image was created. For instructions, see Upgrade the PAN-OS Software Version (Standalone Version).
  2. Before deploying the OVA file, set up virtual standard switch(es) or virtual distributed switch(es) that you need for the VM-Series firewall.
    If you are deploying the VM-Series firewall with Layer 3 interfaces, your firewall uses Hypervisor Assigned MAC Addresses by default. If you choose to disable hypervisor assigned MAC address, or if you are deploying the firewall with Layer 2, virtual wire, or tap interfaces, you must configure (set to Accept) any virtual switch attached to the VM-Series firewall to allow the following modes: promiscuous mode, MAC address changes, and Forged transmits.
    Configure a virtual standard switch or a virtual distributed switch to receive frames for the VM-Series firewall.
    Virtual Standard Switch
    1. Navigate to HomeHosts and Clusters and select a host.
    2. Click the Configure tab and view Virtual Switches. For each VM-Series firewall attached a virtual switch, click on Properties.
    3. Highlight a port group corresponding to a virtual switch and click Edit Settings. In the vSwitch properties, click the Security tab and set Promiscuous Mode, MAC Address Changes and Forged Transmits to Accept and then click OK. This change propagates to all port groups on the virtual switch.
    Virtual Distributed Switch
    1. Select HomeNetworking. Select your virtual distributed switch and highlight the Distributed Port Group you want to edit.
    2. Click Edit Settings, select PoliciesSecurity, and set Promiscuous Mode, MAC Address Changes and Forged Transmits to Accept and click OK.
  3. Deploy the OVA.
    If you add additional interfaces (vNICs) to the VM-Series firewall, you must reboot (because new interfaces are detected during the boot cycle). To minimize the need to reboot the firewall, activate the interfaces at initial deployment or during a maintenance window.
    To view the progress of the installation, monitor the Recent Tasks list.
    1. Log in to vCenter using the vSphere client. You can also go directly to the target ESXi host if needed.
    2. From the vSphere web client, go to Hosts and Clusters, right-click your host, and select Deploy OVF Template.
    3. Browse to the OVA file that you downloaded in 1 Select the file, and click Next. Review the template’s details and click Next.
    4. Name the VM-Series firewall instance, and in the Inventory Location window, select a Data Center and Folder, and click Next.
    5. Select an ESXi host for the VM-Series firewall, and click Next.
    6. Select the datastore to use for the VM-Series firewall, and click Next.
    7. Leave the default settings for the datastore provisioning, and click Next. The default is Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed.
      Do not configure CPU affinity for the VM-Series firewall. The vCenter/ESXi server optimizes the CPU placement for the VM-Series and the firewall performs best when you do not modify the non-uniform memory access (NUMA) configuration.
    8. Select the networks to use for the two initial vNICs. The first vNIC is used for the management interface and the second vNIC for the first data port. Make sure that the Source Networks map to the correct Destination Networks.
    9. Review the details, select Power on after deployment, and click Next.
    10. When the deployment is complete, click the Summary tab to review the current status.

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