My VCP6-DCV Home Lab

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Physical Hardware or nested ESXi… that is the question. So after thinking about it for a long time, I decided that for my home lab, I will be using the less expensive lab configuration instead of investing over $2.5k in hardware. I will be using my home desktop with VMware Workstation to run my lab.

My home desktop has a good spec for the lab that I am going to build:

  • Intel four cores I5-4690K @3.50GHztask_manager_PC
  • 32 GB of RAM
  • 512 GB SSD as a boot disk
  • 1 TB 7.2K RPM additional storage

 

The lab design will include the following:

  • Vmware Workstation will be installed on my local PC
  • Winodws 2012R2 – Runs as virtual machine
  • ESXi0 -Runs as virtual machine
  • ESXi1 -Runs as virtual machine
  • ESXi2-Runs as virtual machine
  • vCenter appliance -Runs as virtual machine

 

Oceanside_datacenter3

Lets go into details about each virtual machine installed in the lab.

Windows Server

Microsoft Windows 2012R2 can be downloaded from Microsoft website for 180 days evaluation (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2012-r2?i=1).  I use Micorsoft Windows 2012R2 server as an Active directory, DHCP server, DNS server and iSCSI storage.

The VMware workstation configuration for this virtual machine:esx0esx1_config

  • 2 GB RAM
  • One Processor
  • 60 GB of HDD (configured on the 7.2K HDD)
  • Two network adapters (mgmt network and bridge to my PC)

 

 

 

 

ESXi0/ESXi1/ESXi2

VMware vSphere components can be downloaded from VMware website for 60 days evaluation.(https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/downloads)

The VMware workstation configuration for this two virtual machines:win2012R2_config

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 2 Processors
  • 100 GB HDD (configured on SSD)
  • 10 network adapters (redundancy and muliple networks)

 

 

 

vCenter Appliance

I used the default configuration from the vCSA directory, just need to rename the file vmware-csa to vmware-csa.ova and import to VMware workstation.

Also I needed to append the following to vcenter.vmx file: (Thanks to virten.net : http://www.virten.net/2015/04/how-to-install-vcenter-server-appliance-vcsa6-in-vmware-workstation/)

guestinfo.cis.vmdir.password = “$VMware123”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.net.addr.family = “ipv4”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.net.addr = “10.10.10.4”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.net.prefix = “24”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.net.mode = “static”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.net.dns.servers = “10.10.10.1”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.net.gateway = “10.10.10.1”
guestinfo.cis.appliance.root.passwd = “$VMware123”

Storage 

At the beginning I will use the Microsoft windows server as my main storage, I will also use other storage appliances such as FreeNAS and EMC Storage appliance (both are free).

Networking

At the beginning I will use VMware vSwitch.  Later on I will try some Cisco appliances.

Shutdown/Power up lab sequence:

Shutdown – vCenter –> ESXi2–>ESXi1 –> ESXi0 –> Windows 2012R2

Power up –  Windows 2012R2 –> ESXi0 –> ESXi1 –> ESXi2 –>vCenter

 

 

 

One Comment

  • Hi
    Great post. I am about to undertake a VCAP-DCV Deploy as my VCP-DCV is due to expire next year.

    I have the benefit of using a dedicated host using HP server hardware which is only a few years old so can support nesting and 64bit VMs and virtualisation is fully supported. I read you post about using VMware Workstation and creating a really powerful VM based on Windows 7 to install VMware workstation.

    My question is will the above setup you have outlined be enough for me to use as a LAB to for this certification. The only difference I wanted to do was have 2 ESX hosts rather than 3.

    Look forward to any advice you can offer.

    Thanks

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