So, time to update the home labs information, and yes, this time I may have overdone it a little in one or two areas.
I spend most of Sunday rebuilding my home lab (christened some time ago as vSpecialistlabs v2), adding some elements, changing and tweeking some hardware, and removing other hardware I wasn’t using at the time.
Essentially, I’ve ended-up with a home lab that comprises the following aspects:
- Multi-site VM configuration, with multi-host clusters at both sites.
- iSCSI shared storage for main ‘production’ site.
- vSphere Replication to backup ‘DR’ site.
- Managed networking.
Below is a picture of my home lab set-up, and you can immediately see where I may have gone OTT – screens! For some reason, I love to have screen real estate.
The components of the lab / set-up are as follows:
- Server 1: IBM S5520HC chassis with 2 x E5520 2.26GHz, 24GB RAM, 1TB SATA, H/W iSCSI & Dual 1GB NICs.
- Server 2: As server 1 above.
- Server 3: HP NL35l MicroServer with 8GB RAM.
- Server 4: As server 3 above.
- Main PC. Desktop PC from Servers Plus. (Updated range can be found here). Intel i7-2700 Quad core @ 3.50GHz, 32GB RAM, 2 x OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs and 2TB SATA, X64 Windows 7 Pro. Eizo CE210W (main monitor) plus Dell E177FP (second monitor).
- 8 TB QNAP 459 Pro II NAS. (4 x 2TB drives in 2 RAIDs).
- Iomega external 1TB USB/FW disk.
- Belkin Soho 4-port VGA KVM, with bluetooth USB keyboard – for all servers.
I will add more information about how the lab grows and is configured – especially in the light of required revision for updating my VCAP certification to v5. Things to note:
- The cabling is far from finished! I’m still on connectivity at the moment – looking pretty is next phase.
- Power configuration is top of the list. Running this from multi-plugs is not ideal (at least they aren’t daisy-chained!) The servers and PCs are all connected to surge protector PDUs.
- For my PC, iMac and laptops I use Synergy across all clients for a single KVM view. For the servers, I use the Belkin KVM and separate keyboard.
- I’m not a specific network focused bod, but I am looking at expanding the lab in the near future into the Cisco arena, for CCENT certification and beyond.
In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions or comment on my set-up, I’m always looking for ways to improve!