I have a nephew who is studying Computer Science in his 4th year at George Mason Univerisity in Virginia. He is interested in learning VMWare ESXi
and hopefully getting VCP certified as well. Since I am going to dole out my own money to purchase equipments for him, I am looking at the followings:
#1: two (2) Dell Poweredge 1950-III to run ESXi 5.0 and create a VM cluster
#2: a PC that can runs Windows 2008 EE 64bits for Virtual Center (VC),
#3: SAN storage ????
I am stuck on #3. I am a network/firewall guy, I know nothing about SAN storage. I need to advise from experts in this forum to give me advise on how to build a home VMWare ESXi 5.0 lab that my nephew can get his hand dirty. I am looking for a cheap but workable solution that he can play with.
Once he is familiar with it, I will pay for the ESXi training so that he can become VCP certified and hopefully gets a good job.
Thanks in advance.
I would drop to a 2 PC system for the entire test environment.
1) You'll need a management PC running Windows for the vSphere client.
2) You'll need a single host that will host virtual machines for ESXi, vCenter and some sort of shared storage.
- I would check the 1950s carefully as they may have older CPUs which don't support VT-x - in which case you won't be able to run 64 bit VMs
- with a single, more powerful host (and it could be a desktop class machine) you could run a hypervisor layer and then run ESXi VMs, a vCenter VM and shared storage. This will eliminate 2 servers for you. This host could run ESXi or VMware workstation (ESXi will give you better performance, but you'll have more limited hardware choices.
- for shared storage there are a number of free options that will provide iSCSI or NFS.
I have a whitebox list at vm-help.com you can check out to get hardware ideas. I would get a host with at least 16 GB RAM but ideally at least 24 GB.
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Thanks for your help. I would like to implement this solution with minimum hardware: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/products/vsphere/VMware-vSphere-Evaluation-Guide-1.pdf
what would be the minimum hardware would you recommend? Especially with the storage. My nephew is on a student "shoe-string" budget so he would like to have this up and running with High Availability just like what described in the evaluation guide.
thanks in advance
If you are on a budget I would recommend just getting one powerful workstation. Like a i7-2600 with 16GB of RAM and use VMware workstation. Use a VSA like openfiler for shared storage.
HA would be no problem. You can even do FT - http://vinf.net/2009/06/07/vsphere-cannot-enable-ft-for-a-nested-vm/.