Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 1: The Story
In my search of the ‘ultimate affordable’ Lab setup for VMware VCAP/VCP/… exams, i went through a lot of possible set ups.
In the end, i started to build a powerful desktop pc in which i intend to virtualize my vSphere environment. The reasons that made me chose a desktop PC running Windows 7 with VMware Workstation 8 to do this:
- Everybody has a pc. So why not buy a lightning fast pc which makes your daily application work at light speed (email/surfing/office tasks) and gives you a perfect lab!
- While i enjoy playing around with servers, i don’t like them at home… they are loud, they generate heat similar to a woodstove, they consume electricity like hell and they are always in the way of things… Plus you have to interconnect them using 5000 miles of cable. Bottom line: me not like!
- Every VMware Admin knows the benefits of virtualization… So why not virtualize your lab? It makes it very flexible (play with # NICs, snapshots, clones, …).
- Since quite some people are already VCP, you can finally put some good use to that VMware Workstation license you got
- It’s very easy to suspend all your work (suspend all the VMs aka your whole vSphere environment), shutdown your pc, go to sleep/work/kids/fun and continue the day after. No electricity wasted, no annoying noises, …
- Since a lot of vSphere features originally were introduced in VMware Workstation, it’s always nice to play around with it.
- With the coming of VMware Workstation 8, you can finally expose VT-x to the VMs, making it possible to run x86 & x64 VMs on your virtual vSphere environment. This includes VDR, vShield, …
- Finally, it’s cheaper that a hardware setup (maybe not as powerful in terms of performance but it will only host a Lab environment so no big deal for me).
So that are my reasons to go for a virtual Lab setup. On the next post, I’ll discuss the hardware you need for this desktop pc…