VMware Edu & Cert Community
boris321123
Contributor
Contributor

Home lab for total beginner with VMware virtualization... low budget

Hi, I am totally new to vmware.. just reading about ... I have heard that you can read a lot BUT the best way to actually learn this stuff is to have a home lab.

I am in the process of buying a desktop computer.. someone said I should  run vmware esxi in workstation (running a lab in vmware work station)

My new desktop computer which I will be a dell  CoreTM i5 650 (3.2GHz/4MB cache)  has the VT capability and this for memory

6GB3 DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz.
This desktop will also be my main computer for my house, that is I will not just use this for the lab work but for my everyday usage, email, websurfing, office work etc.. So i dont want to mess it up.
I also have an older computer that is like 8 years old..that I can use too if necessary..
So, back to the lab--- can i make a lab with just the one new computer? and could it still be functional f or non lab stuff?
I just want a very simple lab
any help on setting up a very very simple lab to get aquainted with vmware would be great!!
Thanks
BORIS
Reply
0 Kudos
5 Replies
vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Hello.

If you have a single computer, then the Workstation approach is going to be the way to go.  You are going to be limited by the 6GB RAM in this system, but you can still test out the basics.  If possible, try to get more memory and make sure you use a host OS that can support more than 4 GB RAM.

Good Luck!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
Reply
0 Kudos
boris321123
Contributor
Contributor

hi and thanks for your help..if i do this as you suggested, will i still be able to use this pc for everday work or will it be just designated for lab work?

second- what type of things will I be able to do? as far as basics are concerned

thirdly, whats a good host that can support more than 4 gb of ram.. im totally new to this stuff, so bear with me.. totally new

Reply
0 Kudos
vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Yes, if you get a good base system with a 64-bit OS then you will be in great shape to get started.  You can use the system for your day-to-day work, and then also use it with VMware Workstation to run your lab.

The basics - 2 GB of RAM for each ESXi host you want to set up.  So, if you want two of them, you are already at 4GB of RAM required.  A 32-bit OS is going to stop you right here.  Think about the other things you may want to test as well.  vCenter, NAS/SAN, and many other items will all require additional RAM.

Any modern desktop system should be fine to run this.  The big things to check/double-check are 64-bit (VT) support and the amount of memory you can use in the system.  There are also a lot of threads in the communities that deal with the setup of Workstation and the hardware that people have had success with.

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
Reply
0 Kudos
AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

You can also consider to look for a working whitebox configuration:

http://www.vm-help.com
http://ultimatewhitebox.com

In this way you can have a dedicate ESXi server, that could be better than a PC with workstation and ESXi inside it.

At least 6 GB are required to do something interesing.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
Reply
0 Kudos
bulletprooffool
Champion
Champion

You'll run your lab on the PC as an application (in this case VMWare workstation would be an application running)  - the full lab environment would live within this 'application' - so when you shut CVMware workstation down, you'd had full access to all RAM etc for your remaining applications.

If you are only trying to run ESX on the workstation and are not too bothered about the Operating systems of the VMs you run, you could use very small linux distributions, rather than Windows - to limit the resource required.

In addition, you can use Virtual appliances from the VMWare appliance store to simuylate routing / Firewalls etc, so that effectively you have a full network in a box.

Provided your workstation is powerful enough, I'd set up VMWare workstation with 3 ESX install running on it. The first would literally be for hosting Virtual appliances (Storage /  Routing etc), then the pothers woiuld be for actual testing.

lastly, if you have a little spare cash, look into something like a ReadyNas, as these provide NFS and iSCSI storage, so are great for testing in a lab environament and taking the storage performance load off of your PC. (Alternatively you could use your spare PC as a 'freeNas' box?)

Good luck.

Oh, I have a quick post on setting up Vyatta (In my case for Firewall / Routing, but it may be useful if you want ruoted networks in you ESX environment)

http://www.get-virtual.info/2011/02/18/using-vyatta-as-firewall-in-esxesxi-for-private-network-simul...

One day I will virtualise myself . . .
Reply
0 Kudos