it is been 2 weeks now of planning and designing My First VMware Lab using just a bunch of hardware. I don’t think half of this hardware is supported by VMware but it perfectly Works. though there were some minor tweaks that i had to do, but the outcome is that the Lab is up and running finally.
My VMware LAB consists of the following White Boxes hardware configuration.
2 Machines, each with the following Specs.
1 Intel Core i7 CPU 970 @ 3.2 GHZ. 6 cores processor.
Intel Desktop Board DX58S02 Extreme Series.(Contains Dual GigaBit LAN)
24 GB G-Skill DDR-3 RAM 1600 Bus Speed.
1 TB of local Storage(Western Digital SATA Disks).
1 Extra Network Card D-LINK DGE-528Tfor an extra uplink.(Had to do some work for ESXi to see this card).
1 Extra Machine With the following Spec’s.
1 Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9950 @ 2.83 GHz. 4 Cores Processor.
1 Intel Desktop Board DP35DP Extreme Series(Contain A single GigaBit LAN).
8 GB DDR-2 RAM.
2 Extra Network Cards D-Link DGE528T for an extra 2 up-links.
3 TB Hard Disk storage(Western Digital).
So most of you may be asking now why 3 ESXi Host though the first 2 Machines have huge Amount of memory and processing capability specially with the number of cores and multi threading enabled, you can run a huge number of virtual machines with no performance issues what so ever. but one thing that is missing from that idea which is Where is the storage can not see the specs any where.
to be honest, to set a proper lab i had to have a storage until someone whispered in my ears and said why not use lefthand, why not use celerra simulator?
I was planning on buying the iOmega StorCenter ix4-200d NAS Server with 8TB capacity and i started looking in the market for it until i decided that if i really wanted to use advanced functionality for example test SRM, then there is no choice for me except using the lefthand since it has an SRA that i can use with SRM. so this Makes the architecture of my LAB as shown in the following Figure.
since the DNS, vCenter, VSA are all stored on local storage of the machine and the VSA is providing the shared storage for the other ESXi Hosts from its own ESXi Local Storage. it is completely isolated from any VMware cluster and no vMotion or anything else can be done. I can work on them and make it in the shared storage provided locally by the Appliance but i will have to make sure the appliance can never go down which is something impossible to assure. atleast i can have my vCenter up and running even of the VSA is down for troubleshooting.
I like myself smiling in the architecture because i am really excited to begin testing stuff in this gigantic LAB.
Take care for now