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
- MOBO: Intel NUC NUC8i3BEH
- CPU: Intel Core i3-8109U
- RAM: 16GB Crucial CT16G4SFD824A, DDR4, 2400 MT/s, PC4-19200, Dual Rank x8, SODIMM, 260-Pin
- DISKs: Kingston SA1000M8/240G SSD A1000, SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
STORAGE1: QNAP TS-421. Storage equipped with 4 x 2 TB disks in RAID 5 configuration sized with an iSCSI LUN and some NFS shares.
Total space: 6 TB
STORAGE2: 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
STORAGE3: Synology DS119j. The device is equipped with 1 x 3 TB disk. This NAS is used for AD SOBR site backup and software repository purposes.
Total space: 3 TB
I’m currently using a Cisco SG350-28 28-Port Gigabit Managed Switch 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 an Ubiquiti USG to route the different subnets configured in the lab environment. It acts also as VPN server.
To manage the Ubiquiti USG and provide some services such as wake on lan, I'm using a Raspberry Pi 3.
How the Home lab looks like.