Happy new Year 2019 – New Lab Environment

First of all I want to wish all of you a happy new 2019 even though it’s maybe a bit too late now in May, but I started to write this post in January… πŸ™‚

After my first PXE boot posts I wanted to continue building my data center in my lab environment. After a it of researching I decided against Intel NUC (like virten.net) or Super Micro E300/E200 (like William Lam). In my opinion it’s good enough to have just one server and built nested environments on it. I bought a PC at eBay for just 399 Euro with this hardware and added a SATA SSD for around 100 Euro:

  • Intel(R) CPU E5-2620 (6 x 2 Ghz = 12 pCPUs with HT enabled)
  • 64 GB of RAM (8 x 8 GB modules)
  • SSD Crucial MX500 2,5″ 1TB

In my opinion this should be enough compute resources to run a lot of idle VMs. First I want to install ESXi on it, where I can run other nested ESXi hosts, vCenter server and other VMs. This all can become a bit tricky because actually I can’t connect the server to my monitor (no DVI cable). So let’s hope that virtualization is already activated in BIOS.

Here I’ve added a few photos:

ESXi Installation via PXE works fine

So I started my PXE VM, connected my laptop and my server to the switch at home and booted the server. After waiting about 20 minutes I opened the IP address from my kickstart file in my browser and found I running ESXi instance with 1 TB storage:


Preparations

So far I also added a Windows VM as domain controller, DNS and DHCP Server Terminal Server and a VCSA to mange this host, added internal vSwitches and am now ready to continue built up my lab and post tutorials.
Plans for the next blog post are vSAN and NSX. Please feel free to post ideas as comments.