Happy New Years everyone! I was supposed to get this out right before the holidays but babylam got really sick and I had to put this on hold.
Back in November I threw out an idea on Twitter to see if the vCommunity would be interested in doing a group buy for some Supermicro kits, especially for those looking to upgrade their personal home labs to take advantage of all the new VMware goodies such as vSAN, NSX and PKS for example. Within minutes, I had several dozen replies and it was clear that folks were definitely interested in refreshing their lab, especially with a smaller and more modern platform.
To be clear, system means complete chassis with CPU and motherboard included. Please see the product links below for more details. Based on the survey data, we have two packages that will be offered as part of the group buy, ED system only, no memory and ED 64GB memory. Once MITXPC processes all the request orders no payments yetthen they can then determine the discount level to apply for each of the respective packages and will work with you directly on completing the transaction.
For folks who were part of the initial interests survey, I will be sending an email later this evening to inform you the instructions. The next step is to get the promotion codes enabled and I will send out an email with all the details including the duration of the promotion period. Given the large number of storage configurations including vendors and online competitive pricing, we decided to remove the last option system with memory and storage as it would have been very difficult to narrow down to just a couple of configurations.
From a memory standpoint, we went with 64GB as this is usually the most constrained resource and it also enables users to deploy multiple VMware solutions even with just a single host. For those interested, I have written about both platforms before, the ED were used in past VMworld Hackathons which you can read more about here and the ED which I recently got my hands on which you can read more about here.
Below are the four packages for both the ED and ED along with their associated quantities and discounts. These discounts were put together by the MITXPC team in supporting the VMware Home Lab community and hopefully you can see that reflected in the discounts which you will not find any where else. If you want to get an idea of the shipping costs, feel free to add one of these systems into the cart and proceed to check out just do not pay for it and you can get an estimate for the shipping destination.
For those seriously interested in the group buy, I am running an initial survey to spiritual personality quiz feedback on which of the four package s are the most popular, I will leave the survey open for about 2 weeks. More details will come once I have the results which I will communicate using the email you submit in the survey. Please see the official links to the systems themselves for more information.
Are there specific reasons you picked them over the D-TN4T? Or start working on nested design. Still a 4th would give me a real VSAN installation…. As for the fan question, I removed 1 of the stock fans and added 2 noctua nfa4x20 fans.
They are definitely noisier than the D-TN4T. From a costing standpoint, non-ECC would make more sense. Should know more this week hopefully.Last week VMware released vSphere 7.
The first thing I did was upgrading my homelab. After the clean installation, the NVMe disks are recognized. William Lam has started a great initiative. William asked link everyone who owns a homelab to share there build of materials BOM and configuration so the vCommunity can benefit and learn from.
I have a simple homelab configuration. Here an overview of the materials I used and configuration:. A couple of weeks ago the new Shuttle SHR8 is released. The only hardware you need to add is a CPU, Memory and disk s that match.
The documentation describes the installation steps very clear which makes the hardware installation easy. For 2. With the support for 4x 3. The PCI-E x 16 slot can be used for a large dual-slot graphics card up to mm.
The Shuttle has great expansion possibilities with the two PCIe slots and support for 4x 3. More information about the Shuttle SHR8 can be found here, link. Not available anymore. Supports four 3. Integrated Cooling Engine cooling system ensures cooling of the barebone. Intel Optane Ready which boosts speed of one hard disk through data caching. Slots : M. Older posts.A couple of weeks ago the new Shuttle SHR8 is released. The only hardware you need to add is a CPU, Memory and disk s that match.
The documentation describes the installation steps very clear which makes the hardware installation easy. For 2. With the support for 4x 3. The PCI-E x 16 slot can be used for a large dual-slot graphics card up to mm. The Shuttle has great expansion possibilities with the two PCIe slots and support for 4x 3.Home Lab Setup - pfSense, VMware ESXi Cluster, DIY SAN and more! (2017)
More information about the Shuttle SHR8 can be found here, link. Hi, If you are using an M2 in the shuttle for boot as well as Host memory you can push this lab to qoutd some overprovisioning.
Hello — Can you please post a link of Intel i9 processor that can handle virtualization support for like 6. Did you have to do anything with the vanilla ESXi load to get it to work? Excellent post Ivo. I have today ordered all the same kit to build my lab with a few extra things like 16 port 1GB switch and cat6 cables. I really enjoyed reading your homelab experiences with the Shuttle SHR8. Did you do anything special in the BIOS to get it recognised? Kind regards.
Thank you Ivo for your quick reply! But I have just found a workaround that works for me. Supports four 3. Integrated Cooling Engine cooling system ensures cooling of the barebone. Intel Optane Ready which boosts speed of one hard disk through data caching.Woodworkers have their workshops and potters have their kilns.
What do IT professionals have in their homes? Yes, I confess I'm one of those geeks who over the years has collected a vast assortment of hardware for learning and testing purposes. And I'm sure that many of you who are reading this article are equally guilty of being hardware scavengers. After all, ours is a profession where we need to constantly learn new things and be exposed to new technologies, and since the best way to learn is by doing things hands-on, setting up a lab at home for trying various things out is clearly going to put your feet on the road to success in your profession.
IT pros who pursue technical certifications also need to practice, practice, practice, and having a lab set up at home for doing this is well worth the investment if the certification you are pursuing is likely to advance your career in some fashion.
VMware, of course, is still a very popular technology at the enterprise level, so if you're going after a VMware certification you need a good lab for this too. But since I'm not a VMware expert myself, I thought I'd ask an actual expert in VMware technologies if he could describe how he set up his own home lab for simulating real-world VMware environments. He is an active blogger and is on Twitter davidbarker Let's now put on our thinking caps and listen carefully so we can learn from David how to set up a fully-functioning VMware home lab using components you can buy easily from Amazon.
I've been wanting to build a VMware home lab for a while at home now to test out new builds and versions of software not only from VMware, but Microsoft and others as well. Plus, being a vExpert and having access to production versions of software licenses from VMware was a huge bonus. The major component I wanted to play with and get more familiar with was vSAN.
I thought about doing the nested ESXi route, but with the limited resources already on the NUC I just decided to do a full 3-node cluster.
Let's start off with a list of my bill of materials multiply everything by three and I'll provide Amazon links for everything :. I chose the NUC6I3SYH as I didn't have a need for a faster processor and the dual-core hyperthreading gave me four logical processors, which is what I was looking for anyway. I downloaded the latest build of 6. You will also need to download a version of vCenter — I suggest 6.
Obviously, you'll want your vCenter and ESXi versions to match. One option, especially for a lab environment is to download the 6. Another great use for a lab!
The new feature with vCenter 6. In previous versions of vCenter, you had to do a bunch of manual work, which William describes here in his blog if you choose to not go with 6. But with vCenter 6. Once vCenter is installed, you're all set.
Make sure to create your disk groups and add your disks to vSAN:. But hey, it's a lab! And that's it!
Congratulations, you now have a 3-node vSAN lab up and running. Start deploying machines and testing things out. And if you break it, you just get more practice deploying ESXi and vCenter. There are some pretty great things you can do now, with your own set of resources at your disposal.A great option for you might be a nested lab or sandbox. A nested lab is mini datacenter that runs as handful of virtual machines, a vCenter and a couple of ESXi servers running as virtual machines. If you are fortunate enough to have a laptop with enough resources you can take your lab on the road with you.
More about what a nest lab is …. I feel there is a true value a nested lab can bring to you and your company. No matter how you use a nested lab, one of the great values is being able to easily blow it away and start over. This is a tricky question, like asking how long a piece of string is. It really depends on how much you want to include in your lab. For example, a very basic lab is a vCenter server and two ESXi hosts.
By following their minimum requirements, each additional product you wanted to include in your lab would increase your CPU, memory and storage needs. Please keep in mind that a nested lab is not supported by VMware due to the untestable nature, but the good news is there is great community support.
A VMware user account is required when downloading software from VMware. From a licensing perspective, VMware has a free day evaluation license. In closing, you can see that with only minimal investments and resources you can get a nested lab stood up in your environment.
As you gain experience you can grow or shrink the nested lab as your requirements evolve. There are many advantages in having a safe place to test and learn features, and the overall return on value for a company is phenomenal. Jim is an experienced NSX, vSAN and virtualization specialist, having spent over 25 years working with several companies in technology roles from operations to leadership.
Prior to joining VMware, he was a Virtualization Architect for a global news, media and information organization. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. What is a nested lab? More about what a nest lab is … Why is a nested lab a good idea? Just taking off and going as far as you can before having to read the manual, seeing some of the setup screens or figuring out what information you might need.
Testing product upgrades or patches. Evaluating a feature or configuration change.
How to build a home lab using your PC. Part 1: ESXi 6.7 U1
Not sure exactly how that new feature or change works but you would like to understand it. Try it in the lab first, if it works as expected you can bring it to your production environment.While writing my previous articleI remembered the days when I was only building my first lab.
It was a bit tough, you know, as vSphere yet was a black box for me. Those thoughts brought me to the idea of writing this article. The article in which I share my know-how of building a minimalistic lab using… only a PC, switch, and laptop. I hope that both of them will be really handy for you!
As it comes from the article title, today, I take a closer look at building a minimalistic environment. And, since it is just your starting point, you may not be ready yet to invest tons of money and time in the lab. Well, then what about a free setup? The setup that I use today is conditionally free. It is running on ESXi Evaluation since, for my money60 days trial period is enough to enjoy vSphere advantages and get used to its quirks.
This article can be handy for guys who have just started with virtualization or work indirectly with it. I know that these guys are often short on resources and do not want to purchase expensive equipment and licenses therefor.
Yet, everybody who reads this scribbling has a PC! So, why not use it to build a home lab? Running a PC-based lab has several drawbacks and limitations. But, there are workarounds that I am happy to share with you here. For UEFI-based PCs, you need to look through the motherboard documentation as a way to enable processor virtualization may be different for each case.
You need just these 4 small things:. HCL might be a problem.
Building VMware Home Lab: Complete How-To
The thing is, there may be some hardware components in your setup that officially do not support ESXi i. Such strict HCL may be a good reason to consider building a virtual setup. It is just cheaper and provides you the room for playing around with configurations. I told you at the beginning that I am going to use only my computer, remember? Why did I miss ESXi hardware requirements? Well, I am sure that your hardware fits them. So, yes, I do not see any problems to build a home lab using more or less modern PC!
I also used here the laptop on Windows 10 The hardware configuration of the former does not matter for this study. The latter is used to let the PC and laptop talk to each other. For building the lab, you need ESXi 6. They are available once you register at the official VMware website. It should be noted that the connection between Layer 2 VMs is disabled by default.
Well, this is a Nested Virtualization quirk. Also, note that you need to assign some resources to vCenter Server in advance to avoid it altering the performance of VMs from Layer 2.
Trust me, taking a just a tiny fraction of resources available for both ESXi hosts is the only thing you can do to make sure that everything runs smoothly at the end. I have distributed the resources across the Layer 1 VMs.
Supermicro Home Lab Group Buy
Well, I think it is enough for this study.I need some tips for servers I could buy, that isn't too expensive. Towers can be cooled better and placed on most tables, rack servers tend to be louder, heavier but have more capacity to expand.
I have a rack server on the floor at present standing vertically, not ideal but it's temporary and it works, but it does get hotter so make sure you have good airflow for a rack server. I've two datacenters which I could however place the rack servers on rentnow I'm thinking about it. In your lab what is your objective, what sort of resources will you need, do you need local storage or do you plan on using shared storage from another device?
My lab kit has changed many times over in the years I've been in IT and currently I have 1 server, more powerful than most SMBs total resources. Learn more about ESXi, as I am going to help manage a datacenter soon, and really need some hands on experience, not testing stuff at our customers equipment. I'm thinking of using 1 host in one cluster, with VMs, if I understood this right?
I'm also going to hook up my home lab network equipment later, which I've managed to set up since the earlier post I made this year. Easily doable with almost any kit you likely already have, you need to decide if you want a tower or rack unit and where it's going to reside first. Rod-IT I'll get back to you, I'm going to grab some pizza, so need to drive. But thanks for that great reply. Thinking of 10 CPUs x 2. Did you pick that up from eBay? Any special sellers you'd recommend?
Rack servers are often cheaper too due to them being ex corporate, tower servers tend to be SMB and not rotated as often. An example is our hosts at work are a mix of 12 and 14 core systems, but giving you figures from the 12 core. The server I got was from eBay, but given I am in the UK and you are not, recommending where I got it may be of little use, the seller may not ship outside the UK and you may not want to pay additional in taxes and shipping etc.
There are lots of recycling companies on eBay that sell ex corporate stock, that's generally where I start. Search terms such as "ESXi VMWARE, LAB" and Server somewhere in the mix will often find you what you want, you could if you wanted to be specific also put 64GB in the search, but you will likely pay more for a system specced like this than you would to buy a low ram system and buy ram separately.
Though everyone is different, just bare this in mind. VMUG is a great way to get all of VMware's products, but again, if you do not intend to use them all during the subscription and only need an overview of the main product, ESXi, I would learn that first before you obtain subscriptions. For everything else you can always use trials for now.