New lab!

So I was able to snag the server I mentioned about in my previous post. Woohoo!

The server’s a decommissioned HP DL380 G5 with 32GB of RAM, dual Xeon processors and tons of SAS storage. Here’s the lab I built on it.

  • Installed ESXi5.1 on the physical server. You can install ESXi5 to a USB stick attached to the server, I just went the traditional way and installed it on one of the local disks.
  • Next I created the 6 VM’s,
    • One vCenter VM (one vCPU, 4GB RAM). This runs vCenter and the vCenter SQL Express Database and a Starwind iSCSI SAN.
    • 3 x vESXi5.1 hosts. Each host runs on its own physical SAS disk. This makes boot up very quick. I have them up and ready for action in about 50 seconds.
    • One vMA VM where I can test all those commands I need to know for the VCAP – DCA. It’s been a steep learning curve, but very interesting nonetheless.
    • One 2008 R2 Domain Controller hosting an AD domain to which the vCenter server, the vESXi hosts and the vMA VM’s are joined. Manual entries in DNS were created for the vESXi hosts because ESXi doesnt register itself in DNS, even if you enabled non-secure updates in Active Directory.
  • The vCenter VM runs the free edition of Starwind’s iSCSI SAN, allowing me to create shared storage for the vESXi hosts. Shared storage is necessary for all the cool features of vSphere, vMotion, DRS, Storage DRS, etc

Now to lab as much as I possibly can!

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