6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2020 10:05 PM by Amin Masoudifard

    vCenter / vSphere home lab design

    cal70 Novice

      I have the hardware and all the necessary 'bits', I think in order to start setting up my home lab.  Looking for help / guidance on the best practices and what I 'should' avoid doing in the build.  The plan is for 2 separate ESXi servers, one for production and one for development.  As well as an instance of vCenter that will manage both.

       

      Hardware:

      2x HP DL380 G7

      2x Cisco 3750G

      1x D2600 storage

       

      My initial thoughts is to have vCenter virtualized on the development side, inorder to prevent any impact to the production?  Also, what is a recommended way to start the basic setup so that it can be scaled up for future projects.  Thanks for any help or guidance.

      Cheers!

        • 1. Re: vCenter / vSphere home lab design
          scott28tt Guru
          Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsVMware Employees

          Moderator: Moved to vSphere Upgrade & Install.

          • 2. Re: vCenter / vSphere home lab design
            Amin Masoudifard Expert

            Hi

            It seems you have a well-done and enough physical resources for a test environment, but it's not a usual and good plan to separate two ESXi hosts and dedicate each one of them for a different approach, even in a test scenario or pilot situation. (Respect to the availability and failover factors)

            I think if their CPU model and architecture are the same, create a cluster object and join those hosts to it. Then run your considered test operations. Then if you are concern about the peak load from production VMs, you can define two separate Resource Pool objects in the vSphere: one for the production VMs and another for the development VMs.

            Please mark my comment as the Correct Answer if this solution resolved your problem
            • 3. Re: vCenter / vSphere home lab design
              cal70 Novice

              @Amin Masoudifard, thank you for the help, being new to ESXi lab design and the system I am trying to learn.  I am interested in what the 'best' layout of resources would be to support a home lab that had production / development.  I like the idea of a cluster, but does that mean that I need more hw?  or ESXi installed on bare metal on both servers, with vCenter on one for mgmt?  I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.

               

              I've seen diagrams that show ESXi with other ESXi instances is this the way to go?  I think I may have TOO much hardware, but meh.. I will do what I can.  ANY resources you can point me to for help with how to design the lab would be great.  ALSO, is it not good practice to separate the development from production...?  Right now my FW and services are running live in production for my home... that was one deciding factor for the separations.... so if the ESXi server is 'broken' during a test or trial of a feature, it won't affect my home services? 

               

              I would really appreciate any guidance / help... one day the hope is to take some 'formal' training but until then this should be fine.

               

              Cheers!!

              • 4. Re: vCenter / vSphere home lab design
                Amin Masoudifard Expert

                It's a respectful opinion to separate test and production environment and also their virtual infrastructure as you mentioned too. However if I said to put them together (or even in a clustered structure) it's because of your current situation. You have only two ESXi hosts and if you separate them and a single failure happens on one of these hosts, you have no failover option to reboot your virtual machines and they will fail too! I absolutely believe it's a great best practice to separate operational and pilot network/infrastructure but respect to the feasibility, first of all, you should consider how many physical resources are available and what you have! Balance your existed servers usage and always proritize between the security and availability factors that which one of them is more important on current state!

                 

                 

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                • 5. Re: vCenter / vSphere home lab design
                  atusay Lurker

                  Dear vmware community,

                   

                  I'm new around here and in general with vmware esxi. I would also like to deploy a home esxi server.

                  I would like to run some VMs for some home cloud storage option, testing various virtualized networking software, network services (dhcp, dns) etc.

                  This would be a standalone ESXi deployment as I'm planning to build only a single server for this purpose.

                   

                  I would like to ask for some advice regarding how to setup a redundant storage configuration.

                  Can I deploy both the host and VMs on the same HDD? Or is it better to invest a little more for a host dedicated SSD?

                  Should I set-up a RAID 1 configuration, or rather a backup solution to a secondary drive?

                   

                  What I've got so far is an i5-8400T cpu. Planning to buy a mobo with 2x 1Gbit LAN and 16GB memory. Is this enough?

                   

                  Thank you in advance.

                  • 6. Re: vCenter / vSphere home lab design
                    Amin Masoudifard Expert
                    Can I deploy both the host and VMs on the same HDD?

                    Yes, you can but it's recommended to separate them, even It's possible to install the ESXi in an SD memory or USB disk ...

                    Or is it better to invest a little more for a host dedicated SSD?

                    Using SSD disks is a good option for swap file location (host and VMs)

                    Should I set-up a RAID 1 configuration, or rather a backup solution to a secondary drive?

                    Both of them are good choices, in RAID 1 you will lose 50% capacity for redundancy purposes. Remember whatever array configuration type which you use, you need to a backup solution anyway ...

                    What I've got so far is an i5-8400T cpu. Planning to buy a mobo with 2x 1Gbit LAN and 16GB memory. Is this enough?

                    First, check the system compatibility in the VMware HCL and ensure it's supported by the corresponding ESXi version that you need to test.

                    And total memory depends on your virtual machines requirements

                    Please mark my comment as the Correct Answer if this solution resolved your problem
                    1 person found this helpful