One of my goals this year is to update my vSphere lab. I haven’t posted my current specs so we’ll start there. First let me just say that I like to use server class equipment in my lab. While I realize that this is not a necessity, I like the features that servers bring especially dedicated out of band MGMT IPMI..etc, since my lab sits in my basement it would be quite cumbersome going up and down the stairs. Another reason is that currently, I don’t leave my lab on all the time…but this is going to change because my lab is going to start to become a bit more useful for my needs.
The update to the lab will encompass introducing another dual skt server, i’m sticking with Nehelem’s because of the cost savings. I buy my gear used, usually from HardOCP Forums, so i’ve been getting great deals on older gen Xeons, and boards. While it is older gen, it’s not that old, and provides plenty of power for my needs.
Currently I have two ESXi hosts, one Dual SKT 1366 w/5620’s on an Asus board w/48GB memory. I also have a single SKT 1156 Xeon w/3430 w/32GB memory. The second single SKT system is based on the Supermicro X8SI6-F. This board is pretty special because it includes an LSI2008 6GB SAS controller. The main reason why I purchased this was to eventually build a beefy storage platform and that’s exactly what i’m intending. I will be keeping ESXi on this box and running Nexenta CE passing through the controller. I intend to continue to host the majority of my “Infrastructure” VM’s on this server, ie DC/DNS, vCenter, vCloud Director, vCOPs, some appliances like the vMA, vCMA, View, and vCloud Networking and Security.
The other two dual SKT systems will be for vCloud Workloads. I plan to run all my testing within the vCloud environment, SRM, View, nested ESXi etc. While I know my current storage would probably be able to handle it, Iomega PX4-300d w/4 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda’s, I need some faster storage and alleviate any bottlenecks caused by storage.
I’m adding the following the current lab below:
1. Cisco ASA
2. Additional Dual SKT Server
3. Additional Server Storage for Nexenta CE using a combination of Western Digital Reds and SSD’s for Read/Write Cache.
Iomega PX4-300d 4 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7.2 64MB Cache
HP 1810g-24 Managed Switch
Dlink 24pt GB Green Switch (house room drops)
Servers mentioned above, Supermicro Rackmount Chassis