Having trouble getting the 9.7 simulator running on an ESXi server (v6.7.0, fwiw). Running into repeated panics, the console not echoing input, and, most recently "Internal error: Cannot open corrupt replicated database. Automatic recovery attempt has failed or is disabled". It *did* get far enough in the CLI wizard for me to assign it an IP, and for me to use the Web wizard to set the root password; but after that, hangs and database problems.
So! None of the instructions mention ESXi, they're all for workstation versions; is ESXi just unsupported now?
The two key differences between the workstation and esx builds were the amount of ram (8gb vs 5gb) and the default set of simulated disks (56x4gb vs 28x1gb). Neither should stop it from working on ESX, and you can easily bump the ram to 8gb. The root aggregate/vol tends to fill up fast with 1gb disks, and that might be contributing to the panics you are seeing. You can add a few more disks to the root aggregate and resize vol0 to get some breathing room.
Not seeing text echoed back on the vidconsole tends to happen if you need to go into the maintenance mode on a node. In this case you can get around it by adding a serial port and setting it to use the comconsole.
Hope that helps.
If this post resolved your issue, help others by selecting ACCEPT AS SOLUTION or adding a KUDO.