To test programs, new configurations and implement new solutions, I heavily rely on my Home Lab where also most of my blog posts are taken from.
Since the hardware choice depends on the available budget and must respect the compatibility criteria as defined in the HCL VMware, I had to do some investigations to find the right configuration that best match my needs.
My final choice was a whitebox server equipped with hardware supported by VMware. Servers in my lab are configured to boot from USB.
Check out openhomelab.org to get the list of tested hardware ESXi compatible.
ESXi01 – ESXi02
- MOBO: Supermicro X11SSH-L4NF
- CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1275v5 3.60GHz Skt1151 8mb Cache (Skylake generation)
- RAM: 2 x 16GB Kingstom 2133MHz DDR4 ECC CL15 DIMM + 2 x 8GB Kingstom 2133MHz DDR4 ECC CL15 DIMM
- DISKs: Transcend 256GB SSD SATA III (server-side caching), Western Digital 1TB, SanDisk Cruzer Switch 4GB USB Flash Drive (VSAN)
- POWER SUPPLY: Seasonic SS-400FL2 Platinum 400 Fanless
- CASE: Silverstone SST-SG10B
STORAGE01: QNAP TS-421. iSCSI model equipped with 4 x 2 TB disks in RAID 5 configuration sized with different LUNs and NFS shares.
Total space: 6 TB
STORAGE02: Synology DS214. The device is equipped with 2 x 2 TB disks in RAID 1 configuration. This NAS is used for backup purposes.
Total space: 2 TB
I’m currently using a Cisco SG300-20 20-Port Gigabit Managed Switch configured in layer 3 mode. It has some VLANs that need to talk to each other.
The switch is configured with VLANs to separate LAN, vMotion, Management and iSCSI/NFS traffic.
For Inter VLANs traffic I’m using an old Watchguard XTM-5 to route different subnets. The device acts as router/firewall.
How the lab looks like.
Previous lab configuration.