Macbook Pro vSphere Lab Part II

I know you guys have been waiting for the next part in this series, and I wanted to apologize for not getting to this sooner.  As you may know from my previous posts I took on a new job from an Operational IT Manger for a large enterprise to a smaller VMware/Cisco/Dell VAR in Syracuse, NY.  I’m loving the new job so far and I’m jumping right in and getting my hands dirty with vSphere Design, Cisco DataCenter, and Dell Blades/EqualLogic storage.  Because of this, my time has be very limited as my schedule has completely changed.  Even though I had the parts for a while now, I just now had time to start the next here we go.

From the last blog entry I specifically chose parts and software to handle the vSphere lab.  The requirement is that it had to be small, portable, and somewhat speedy so I upped the memory in my Macbook Pro to max it out at 16GB.


As you can see, I already replaced the slow 5400RPM drive that comes with the Macbook pro with a OS SSD.  I had a spare gskill SSD so I used that.  I also needed fast storage for Virtual Machine Datastores, so I went with one of the best SSD’s on the market.  The superdrive needed to be replaced with an additional harddrive mount.  I chose one of the cheaper models at Newegg.  It’s an APEX mount.  While the documentation is nil, i’ll post a link to a video on Youtube which shows you the basics on installation.  While not specific for that mount, it’s still a great guide and will lead you in the right direction.


At the last minute I switched over my chose from a Corsair SSD to a Samsung 830 256GB SSD.  This is one of the best SSD’s on the market.  Looking at Anandtech’s review, certainly helped me make the right choice.  Here it is, layed out ready to be installed.  I am a stickler for making sure that I don’t scratch anything so I usually lay a towel



Here are the connections that you ABSOLUTLEY need to be careful with.  Depending on your model Macbook Pro, there are several connections here that will need to be removed and put back together, two of which are very very small and fragile.  Take your time, do not rush.  The video I post at the end of this blog post will show you very carefully what  you need to do.

Boot it up and the drive will be found by OS X.  FYI, I’m using Mountain Lion and I love it and have had zero issues so far.  Anyway, format the drive etc.


Next, I downloaded the latest version of VMware Fusion 4 and Nick Weaver’s UberNetworkFuser utility.  I’ll get into that in more detail in the Part III.  I did make some choices to utilize the AutoLab Package from  This will be the vApp package and the core of the lab.



A couple of takeaways from this this post.

1.  Make sure you have the correct tools.   Some require torx hardware, mine did not.  It was all small philips head.

2. TAKE YOUR TIME.  Those small connectors are fragile.  If you are having fits of rage, walk  Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

3.  Have lots of light so you can see what the hell your are doing and make sure you have a screw extractor tool.

Here is the video tutorial.  If anything,  you will get the tools and correct methods for uninstalling the superdrive and installing the additional data duplicator  mount.

There ya have it!  Phase two is completed and the “core infrastructure” for my lab is 90% complete.  Stay tuned for Part III.  I hope to have it after VMworld.  For those that are going..I hate you!!…  I didn’t get the opportunity to go this year.  However, there is some changes on the horizon I think that you’ll like, I know i’m very excited!  Until next time!

3 thoughts on “Macbook Pro vSphere Lab Part II

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s