At home and in the office, I have been fortunate enough to build myself a couple of small lab servers to play with new versions of VMware vSphere, test out settings, or just break it, oops!
At the office I had the chance to build out what is almost spec for spec a “Baby Dragon” design. Its a beast in a little box! If you are not sure what that mean, you must check it out! Also peek at these guys who have awesome labs, Chris Wahl, Eric Shanks, & Hersey Cartwright.
At home I went in that same direction but changed a few items to make it lighter in the wallet at the end of the day.
- I started with an NZXT case, lots of room for fans & drives, I liked that and it was only $35.
- Grabbed 2 Red LED SickleFlo 120MM fans for the case. Not as quiet as the ones I have in the office lab box
- I then added the same ‘Baby Dragon’ motherboard to it, the SuperMicro X9SCM-F Intel micro ATX.
- Dropped an Intel Core i3-3220 3.3Ghz proc on it (much cheaper than the i7 for home although I wish at times it was an i7).
- 16GB kit (2x8GB) of Kingston 1333MHz DDR3 ECC RAM
- 8GB Kingston DataTraveler thumb drive for ESXi to run on
- 2 Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA 6Gb/s drives to make a little local storage
Currently I am still running ESXi 5.0.0, 914586 but will be moving to 5.5 pretty soon. I have deployed the vCenter Appliance to manage the host and have Autolab installed (a vApp) to bring me into a whole other blog post! Read up on Autolab if you are not familiar with it, very, very valuable and easy to get a full lab going all nested in a vApp.
My next venture is building up an older ReadyNAS we no longer use in the office & putting it in the home lab for some iSCSI connections. I also want to build a small View deployment and then let my kids have virtual desktops…HAHA!!