Home Lab

I actually have two home labs in use for Virtualization testing. The first is the traditional hardware lab, and the second is a lab built using one system. One stays at home and the other travels with me every where I go.

Traditional Lab

The traditional lab consists of the following:

  • 2 DL380G5s with 2 ES5450s and 16GBs of memory each <- 3rd on its way soon
  • IBM DS3400 SAN w/3TBs of Disk
  • 2 Brocade 240E 4 GB Fibre Switches
  • Several HP and Cisco GigE Switches
  • 2 APC SmartUPS 2200RM
  • DISC BluSafe as Backup Device
  • 3 IOGear MasterView switches in a layered approach so that I have 2 monitors and 1 keyboard and mouse.

Within this more traditional lab I run 90% Linux systems with 10% Windows systems to support VMware vCenter, HPSIM, and a few windows and Linux desktops.

DataCenter within a Laptop

My other test lab, the one that travels, uses VMware Workstation 7. I run within it 2 teams, one for VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3, and one for VMware vSphere 4.  The HP 8510w Mobile Workstation has the fastest Duo Core processor for this type of machine as well as 8GBs of memory. In essence, I can run only 1 team of VMs at a time. The VI3 Team consists of:

  • Smoothwall Firewall VM
  • OpenFiler VM
  • W2K3 for vCenter VM
  • 2 ESX 3.5.3 VMs

The vSphere 4 Team consists of:

  • Linked Clone from the Smoothwall Firewall VM
  • Linked Clone from the OpenFiler VM
  • Linked Clone from the W2K3 VM
  • ESX 4.0 VM
  • ESXi 4.0 VM

While the laptop is not the fastest available, it runs my second test lab with some performance issues, but still usable.

Now to upgrade the laptop to something with 16GBs and a Quad Core…. Maybe a MacBook Pro.

Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

3 thoughts on “Home Lab”

  1. Nice setup. Historically I have been using workstation class hardware (white boxing it) for the home lab. I am now specin out datacenter class equipment, SuperMicro is a great value for the $$. With that said… I need to make that “Ed” money because I can only do one or the other… The laptop setup is great for doing overhead presetations and testing configurations. The cost of doing both and doing them well is pretty high, even for those of us in consulting that can usually get a tax break on it. Keep on building, I will keep on dreaming 🙂

    1. Thank you!. I tend to buy laptops these days that allow me to run at least 4-5 VMs but I only buy them once every 3-5 years. Keeps the costs down for me. I actually eat my own dog-food so to speak and am 90-95% virtualized for my businesses and for testing.

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