Nutanix Community Edition Home Lab Part II

Welcome to Part II of my Nutanix Home Lab New Years Eve Edition.  In this segment I will provide the information on my Network and Gear to support the Lab and the backup environment.

My brother is a Ubiquiti dealer and turned me on to their APs a while ago which work great in the house.  Since then, Ubiquiti has released a whole slew of products.  One of their more popular network devices is the Edgemax Router.


For less than $100, 1Mpps routing  and feature set of this router makes it a must have for the Home Office/Small Office or tinkerer.  Routing Protocols supported range from OSPF to BGP, full suite of services like DHCP, Firewall, and VPN services were a necessity for me to include multiple ports for different “zones” for LAN and Wireless access.

What I really love about this router is how easy it is to use.  The GUI is very intuitive but if you’re a CLI junkie, you can use that as well.  Here are some screenshots of EdgeOS:




Full traffic analysis:



VPN Services:


VPN services were imperative to complete the lab.  In Part I of this series I briefly mentioned having a “storage only” node in an offsite location for backup duty.  As luck would have it, my brother has a Ubiquiti Edgemax Router and plenty of bandwidth to his office which I have setup a IPSEC VPN Tunnel.  I’ll post the configuration of this in future articles of this series.  Let’s move on to the LAN.

In my previous life I was able to work with a bevy of network gear.  Most of the gear was Cisco, but sometimes we had customers that liked to have the single vendor INF solution/architecture for the “one hand to shake” support model.  I worked a lot of Dell deals and I have to say, they have come a long way in the Networking area.  Mostly I worked with a lot of their fabric as it pertained to their blade solution, the M1000e and Force 10 Networking. Since then Dell has doubled down on their network strategy by introducing the very reasonably priced  N series for Campus based networks and now the X series for ROBO/SO.  The have even embraced the Open/Diaggregated/third-party OS switches as well.

If you read some of my past Home Lab articles you know that my LAN topology consisted of dual HP 1800-24g’s.  They served me well for years and provided all the capabilities I required at the time.  This time, however, I wanted to move to a simpler model with plenty of port capacity and 10Gb capability.  Since this was a lab, I could deal with using both 10Gb and 1Gb for the Nutanix Cluster traffic.  This lessened the financial burden of looking for a quiet, affordable 10Gb switch…plus I needed to replace the 1Gb ports when I decommissioned the HPs.  The best option was found in the new Dell X series line:


The Dell X1052 fit the bill nicely.  48 x 1Gb and 4 x 10Gb SFP+ ports was exactly what I required.  This gave me the capability of leveraging 10Gb for the primary Nutanix traffic for the three-node cluster and still have one 10Gb port remaining to add an additional node.   Failover connections would be multiple 1Gb connections as well has MGMT and IPMI.

1_2_resizeThis is how everything is cabled for now.  I do need to still clean up a bit:


Cables are color coded for the purpose they serve and I used Cisco TwinAX which can be found cheaply on eBay.

I mentioned how easy it was to install this switch.  It literally took me 15 minutes to put the rails on, rack it, and configure the switch (the latest code was already installed).   Here are some screenshots of the GUI:


Stay tuned for Part III when I get into the actual configuration, building out the Storage Only Node, seeding the backups, and installing it in my brother’s rack!

Happy New Year!





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