Am I missing something or over analyzing?

Ok, this may be a really dumb question, but I have to get my arms wrapped around this so I understand.  Like many others before me and many others after me, have built a nested lab following one of the many guides on the net.  I picked, Building the Ultimate vSphere Lab – Part 1: The Story | Boerlowie's Blog.   I have the lab built and have read the blue print and started to read the documents in the blue print.  I also picked up two books, Official Cert Guide by Ferguson and Atkinson VCP 5 Study Guide.  Both are very good books.  I have started to flip through them and have noticed the activities to try things to further enhance your hands-on learning experience.  Yes, this is what I wanted.  As I flip throw the pages and look at the different activities, I am thinking, in the nested lab I built, how do I practice installing EXSI, vCenter as I have built those when I built my nested network.  How does this work with my nested lab.  How do I install EXSI and vCenter since it is already installed in the nested lab?  Do I remove it and then re-install for practice? 

Lab current layout:

Workstation 9 using WS 8 Hardware

     Template for Windows 2008 R2

     DC VM - with DNS, DHCP, AD

     vCenter VM

     ESXI VM

     ESXI2 VM

     Networking - with vMotion and Fault Tolerance

     Desktop VM - I added this for few different reasons

So if the activities in the books I bought want me to install ESXI or vCenter, how do I do this within the nested lab?  When I get to vMotion and Fault Tolerance, what then?  Sorry for such simplistic questions to you experts but I am trying to understand this so I can move beyond the basic questions and really sink my teeth into the blueprint and practice lab.  Any answers, advice, guidance, etc. is greatly appreciated. 

2 Replies

Neither really - You could power off your current ESXi/vCenter VMs, and then just create new ones to install vCenter Server and ESXi on. You could then either keep these new VMs or use them in the lab. I am a big proponent of not ever getting too attached to one's lab setup. It should exist to be built, broken, fixed, destroyed and built again. Having a pristine lab is great, but you won't learn as much as if you build, fix and break a few times along the way. I also believe that a Workstation lab can teach you more about virtualization in general, simply because everything is abstracted another layer.

Most of the labs in my book can be accomplished in a Workstation lab. For those that can't, I tried to include more screenshots and detail. William Lam's (lamw) website has some excellent information on getting FT and other features to work in unsupported hardware, so definitely check that resource out for those pieces. Youtube is also another great resource for watching others set up things that you cannot build in a lab. Its not the same as doing it yourself, but watching the wizards can sometimes be very helpful.

Good luck on your VCP!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale |

Thanks Brian!!!  Great advice.  I do like your images better than some of the other VCP5 books as you can read the images without a magnifying glass.  I probably built, torn down and rebuilt the lab at 5 times.  I appreciate your response and great book!!

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