VMware Home lab 2018

Home-Lab, vsphere65
Most of my study of new technologies happens in my home lab so I feel the need to upgrade the lab from time to time. I think having a home lab helps to increase knowledge and can help your IT professional career. I decided to upgrade my VMware home lab for 2018 and I would like to share the details. Bill of Materials(BOM): Three Servers:  DELL POWEREDGE R610 2x QUAD CORE E5620 2.4GHz 48GB RAM 2x 146GB 10K SAS. I purchased the servers on ebay for $294 each. Server Rack:  StarTech.com 25U Adjustable Depth Open Frame 4 Post Server Rack Cabinet with Casters/Levelers and Cable Management Hooks. I purchased the rack on Amazon for $249, I also needed to purchase some shelves for an additional  $80. Networking:  Cisco Small Business SG300-28 Switch - SRW2024-K9.…
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vCenter High Availability Deployment and Testing in my Home Lab

Home-Lab, VCAP6 - Design, vcenter, vsphere65
Since I upgraded my home lab to vSphere 6.5 I wanted to test the vCenter high availably feature.  In this post we will discuss vCenter High Availability (VCHA) deployment (step by step installation) and we are also going to test the feature and see how the system is responding. So what is VCHA?: VCHA is a way to eliminate single point of failure when it comes to the vCenter appliance. The architecture of VCHA includes three vCenter nodes, active node, passive node and witness node, which serves as a quorum only. VCHA supports both embedded and external PSC configuration, and if you use external PSC configuration you will need to use load balancer when designing your solution (supported load balancers are Netscaler,F5 BIG-IP and NSX Edge). When you deploy VCHA,…
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Updating my lab to vSphere 6.5 – part 2

Home-Lab, vsphere65
In the previous post we discuss the upgrade process for the vCenter appliance, in this post we will continue to update the lab to vsphere6.5 by upgrading the hosts. This process can be fully automated via VUM but i will like to take the manual route. Step 1: The first step is to upload the host image to a datastore that the hosts have access to and then connect the iso as a CD to the host Step 2: boot from a the CD and choose the installer from the menu, if you do not get the installer screen, check your bios setting (you might need to change the boot order) Step 3: Click enter to start the installation Step 4: accept the license agreement Step 5 : choose the…
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Updating my lab to vSphere 6.5 – part 1

Home-Lab, upgrade, vcenter, vsphere65
Since vSphere 6.5 is now GA, i decided to update my lab and provide a step by step guide for the upgrade. In this post i will discuss the vCenter appliance upgrade first and then i will create another post for upgrading the hosts in the lab. Prerequisites : Before you start the upgrade please read carefully the following KB article: https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2147548 This article contain important information before you start upgrading, the article includes what products are not supported and considerations before you upgrade.   In my lab i am using VUM and before I started the upgrade process i need to copy the migration-assistant directory to my VUM server and run the VMware-Migration-Assistant.exe see the following link: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-65/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.upgrade.doc%2FGUID-6A39008B-A78C-4632-BC55-0517205198C5.html   Current version: Before we start here is the current version of the…
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Home Lab Update

When i was practicing for my VCP and VCAP Deploy I mainly used VMware workstation as a home lab. I used my Desktop PC which included Intel core i5, 32GB for RAM , One 512 SSD and 1TB of HDD. When i needed to practice backup, replication, multiple PSC's and multiple VC's my biggest constrain was the RAM and i had to shuffle VMs and hosts around. So I finally decided to get some dedicated Hardware so i can continue to study. My home lab now include the following: One Dell PowerEdge T130 One Cisco SG-300-10 One Netgear ReadyNAS 202 Dell PowerEdge T130 Configuration: Processor: 1 Intel® Xeon® E3-1220 v5 3.0GHz, 8M cache, RAM: 64GB UDIMM,2133MT/s,ECC780-BBWS HDDs: 2X 500GB 7.2k RPM SATA 6Gbps Networking:On-Board LOM 1GBE Dual Port Management:iDrac8, Basic with Dedicated NIC Cisco SG-300-10…
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Adding Microsoft Certificate Authority Services in my lab

Active Directory, Home-Lab, SSL Certificate, VCAP6-DCV Deploy
In this post i will install Microsoft Certificate Authority Services on my domain controller in preparation for Objective 8.2 Here are the steps: In server manager add the Active Directory Certificate tools Choose the Certificate Authority and Certificate Authority Web Enrollment Follow the wizard and click install (you can close the installation window) Click on the yellow icon(Post Installation) and then click on configure Active Directory Certificate Authority Make sure to use Administrator (or user with similar rights) Select the Certificate Authority  and Certificate Authority Web Enrollment Choose Enterprise CA (only available if you running AD) Choose Root CA Choose "Create new private key" Choose the Default encryption Verify Common names(no need to change anything) Leave the default validity time Leave the default Cert DB Click on Configure Once done access the the CA via…
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Installing Unity VSA for my lab to support vVOL

emc, Home-Lab
I was looking a way to practice vVOL in my home lab so a quick google search got me to EMC Unity-VSA. So if you like to practice vVOL with me here are the steps i took to install EMC UnityVSA: Download the appliance from EMC website , you will need to register https://community.emc.com/community/products/unity   After the download is over install the ova file on your esx host , in my lab i needed to shutdown my other host and install 18GG of RAM on my esxi0 host and also added 4 more NICs (via VMware Workstation) Once the install complete  add additional HDD to the VM to serve as your actual storage Start the EMC Unity VSA appliance and wait for the DNS name to show in the summary tab (took me about 25Min)…
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Replication – Lab Preparation

blueprint, Home-Lab, Replication, study guide, VCP6-DCV
For the next objective we will need to setup a lab for Replication since i am using VMware workstation on my desktop and i only have limited resources i needed to find a workaround to make it work (So much fun :-)) So i put my thinking hat on and i came out with the following solution: Create a new lab (at least we getting more hands on) Configure two Datacenters Datacenter one configuration: Name: oceanside_dataceter ESXi hosts: Single esxi name esxi0 with basic installation (no fancy storage or networking connections) vCenter server : Single vCenter appliance running on VMware workstation vRA : single vRA installed on esxi0 host VM's:single linux vm installed on esxi0 host Datacenter two configuration: Name: MSPdatacenter ESXi hosts: Single esxi name MSPesxi0 with basic installation (no fancy…
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Adding iSCSI Datastore to my lab

Home-Lab, iSCSI Datastore, VCP6-DCV
So we finish the networking part of the blue print and now we are going to get into the storage part. To be prepared i will need to install iSCSI datastore in addition to the NFS datastore that we already created in previous post .(In this post i am assuming you already have the networking part done , i already configured VMkernel and vDS for storage in my previous posts). I will be using my lab Microsoft 2012R2 to serve as my iSCSI target and will connect all of my three host to it, so lets get started. The plan : Enable Windows 2012R2 iSCSI Target Server Configure Hosts to support iSCSI Add iSCSI software adapter on each ESXi host Configure iSCSI targets on VMware iSCSI software adapter on each ESXi host…
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Updating my lab to use vDS only

Home-Lab, Networking, VCP6-DCV
At this point of my learning i will like to remove all vSS and use only vDS. i will like to migrate first my storage network and than i will migrate my management network . The plan:(Per vDS) Create a new  Switch with new DPortGroup Add hosts to the Switch i also make sure to check the configure identical network setting box Manage the physical adapters Manage the VMkerenl adapters: make sure you have dvport available. Make sure you have available uplink on you new vDS. Move the associate management vmnic to the management dvport on your vDS. re-assign the VMkernel adapters and their IP's  to the new dvport group and apply to all hosts.   Here are the screenshots: Creating new vDS Adding all of my three hosts Selecting to manage…
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