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 - ESXi03
- 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, Western Digital Red 1TB, Western Digital Red Pro 2TB, SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
- 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 3 TB disks in RAID 1 configuration. This NAS is used for backup purposes.
Total space: 3 TB
STORAGE03: WD MyBook Live. The device is equipped with 1 x 3 TB disk. This NAS is used for backup copy purposes.
Total space: 3 TB
I’m currently using a Cisco SG300-20 20-Port Gigabit Managed Switch and a Cisco SG300-10 10-Port Gigabit configured in layer 3 mode.
The switch is configured with VLANs to separate LAN, vMotion, Management, vSAN, VMs Traffic, IPMI and iSCSI/NFS traffic that need to talk to each other.
For Inter VLANs traffic I'm using a Linksys WRT54GL router flashed with the DD-WRT firmware to route different subnets. The device acts as gateway.
How the lab looks like.