There's no concept of a simulator, building a set of VMs to run the various vSphere elements (ESXi, vCenter Server, some "shared storage") is the best approach and you can run an entire environment on VMware Workstation in evaluation mode for up to 60 days.
You'll need more RAM if you want to run the basics on a single system - there's a post on my blog which has some uesful info and excellent links: http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/building-vsphere-home-lab-for-vcpvcap.html
It was mentioned that one can install VMWare Workstation Trial Version etc, but can someone kindly direct me to a link where I can get more details?
The rest is easy, 2 virtual ESXi boxes, some sort of virtual storage appliance and then you're off and rolling. Best of luck!
Thank you very much for all the help.
I will surely upgrade the RAM, try it out and let you know.
Thank you once again.
The links that Scott and Andre have provided are great.
One note though when running several VM's one computer, you may also want to consider running an SSD Hard drive or a least
2 standard 7200 RPM SATA drives in a RAID 0. (RAID 0 has no data protection but this should be fine for a lab environment)
Minimum: 8 Gigs
Recommend: 16 Gigs
Optimum: 32 Gigs
Minimum: 64 bit dual core processor that supports virtualization
Recommended: Second Gen I7 processor
Minimum: SATA 7200 RPM drives
Suggested Minimum: At least 2 x SATA drives in RAID 0
Optimum: SATA3 SSD 128GB or larger.
Windows 7 64 bit with Workstation 8 as the physical host is the easiest way to set this up because of Hardware compatibility.
Note1: You could use the free version of ESXi 5.x as your base OS but it is more difficult to setup due to the limited hardware that it
will run on and you would need a second machine to access the ESXi host.
This may have already been covered by Scott and Andre's links but there is a special setting you may need to make on Virtual ESXi hosts in order to
run a 64 bit guest operatings system inside a Virtualized (nested) ESXI host.
You can even run HyperV as a VM (if you would want to that is ;-)
Information can be found here:
Thank you very much for such a detailed response !!
In fact I was thinking to install the ESXi Free Version on my laptop, but good that I didnt.
Here's what I have now. I have upgraded the RAM of my personal laptop to 8 GB (Thats the max thats allowed in it). I have also installed CentOS 6.3 (64 Bit). And I have installed Kernel 3.5.
I cant do much on my office laptop so will have to use my personal laptop for my VMWare related work.
So with the information provided above, kindly let me know what I can do? I have found that there is a Linux Compatible VMWare Workstation available.
Not sure if I will be able to install the VMWare Vcenter Server in Linux...
Can you kindly help me out and suggest how I should go ahead? Or point me to some place that will show me how to go about it?
Thanks once again for your help.
Hi Pritesh :-),
The links that Scott and Andre have provided have a lot of useful links that will help you with your VMware lab.
If you haven't had a lot experience in virtulization, the concepts will be a bit overwelming at first.
Don't worry about it. Just keep going. The process of figuring these things out & what you learn along the way is actually more important than reaching
the end goal :-)
You will however need to start doing some research by following the links suggested and reading to give you an idea what you need to do.
Here are the main things you want to get started:
1) A computer with enough ram & cpu to run VMware Workstation.
2) Shared storage both NFS & iSCSI .
You can use the following free open source software: Openfiler or FreeNAS
Both run on Linux so you should be able to get them up and running on either a seperate physical computer or as a virtualized guest.
(Openfiler even has pre-made virtual appliance you can download)
3) Sign up on VMware's site for a free account and download the latest ISO's free 60 day trial of ESXi, VCenter, VCenter virtual Appliance.
In addition the links provided the other members here, you may want to have a look at this one to get an idea of how you may want to setup
Remember, Nobody starts out as an expert at anything :-)
My home lab is entirely built within ESXi 5. In other words: One ESXi 5 physical host with two virtual ESXi host residing with in. My datastore is a running off a virtualized FreeNas SAN. All on the cheap.
This is what I did:
Motherboard: Gigabyte's GA-X58A-UD3R with the latest bios supporting VT-D/X
CPU: Intel i7 950 quadcore
RAM: 18GB Kingston HyperX 1600MHz DDR3
Drive #1: Physical ESXi 5 host
Drive #2: Designated drive to host Frenas 8 OS vm
Drive #3&4: Two drives are FreeNas RAID 1 260GB datastore for all VM's (I could not acquire an external share storage device)
Runs like a charm.
I tried to use VMware Workstation on my 8Gb i7 laptop, but it was painfully slow.
Note: Make Craigslist your friend
Nice setup Danorama,
I did something similar to what you did but used OpenFiler instead of Freenas.
Haven't used Freenas myself but have heard really good things about it.
@ Pritesh : As you can see there are many ways you have to choose from when setting up your lab.
Other than your laptop what hardware do you have available to you for your VMware lab ?
Hi Danorama and Mutex,
Thank you very much for your encouraging responses.
Thanks to your encouragement, I keep coming back to my idea of playing around with VMWare.
I dont have any other system apart from my 8GB RAM loaded Laptop. Thats the only thing I have. And its loaded with CentOS 6.3.
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