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New Home Lab

Discussion in 'Virtual Computing' started by JohnBradbury, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    I've been playing with the idea of setting up a new home lab for some time and last night I decided to take the plunge. I shelled out for three new HP ML115 G5's (quad core 2.1Ghz) which will be arriving tomorrow so I'm really excited!!

    I've also put in an order for 24GB Ram and 4 1TB drives to perk them up a little, so these should make a good start.

    Still putting together the rest of my shopping list so if anyone thinks I've missed something please do give me a shout.

    The plan at the moment is to install either Hyper-V or ESX on two of the host and run the other as a storage box. So far I don't have any backup strategy so I'll need to think about that. Maybe a fourth host to mirror the storage of the third box?
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    :eek: :eek:
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    wish i had kit like that to play with! :eek::eek:
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  4. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    Sounds a lot when I say 24GB but this is split over the three hosts.

    So far it's costs me just shy of £1200 but I have a few more extras to buy before I'm up and running. My big concern is backing up the storage box. Not too happy with the thought of a tape drive ...
  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Looks uncannily like my home lab:

    4x ML110s, 32Gb RAM between them. 3 of them are ESX boxes the other runs OpenFiler with 2Tb of storage via an HP RAID card.

    The whole lot cost me about a grand - including the servers, disks, eight extra NICs, RAM, RAID card, SATA cables & adapter kits, 10 CAT5e cables and a cheap Gb switch dedicated to VMotion.

    I would definitely go the full ESX route. ESXi is ideal for departmentallevel virtualisation, but its a bit pointless if you;re trying to use what you'd work with in the real world - for our DR site I still havent bothered putting anything on ESXi - I still run VMWare Server as it does exactly what I need it to.

    I wouldn't worry about another host to back up your storage - just use Openfiler's built-in snapshotting, run a trial of VRanger (available on a 30-day trial I believe) for host-level backups and refresh your environment from scratch every two months (when your ESX evals expire). This is easily done if you run your installs from Kickstart scripts. Of course, you'll also need a couple physical servers for your VC Database and VC Server (though you can host the latter as a VM on ESX itself if you want)
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  6. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Ah if only, my girl would slit my throat if I put an order in for that lot ha ha Well done!
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  7. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    Mate, sweet setup, you must have a nice study to fit all the equipment in.

    In relation to your setup, I know of a few enterprise envrionments who are using ESXi (yes they are cheap), but as Zeb said if your willing to squash your pride and joy every x days then fair play.
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  8. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    I'm a very happy man ....

    Getting ready for work this morning and the delivery man knocked with my nice new shiny servers. I also ordered the additional memory last night (14x 2GB DDR2 800Mhz ECC) and my hard drives (4x 1TB Hitachi SATA-300 72000rpm).

    Sadly some of my items were out of stock so I might have to wait a week for them to arrive.


    Space is something I really don't have - these are sat in my livingroom on a small desk.

    With the remaining budget I'll need to re-subscribe to technet direct and buy a few extra bits and pieces. Right now I don't have any additional network cards so I'll need to factor that in, but I'm seriously considering getting a fourth ML115 and adding the 8GB of RAM.

    Not had a decent lab for a while so I'm pretty chuffed.

    Does anyone know if I can get DPM on the VMWARE eval, I might need it to save on power :eek:
  9. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

  10. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    Holy suntan lotion you get your xmas bonus early this year. Nice setup though, drool....
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  11. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Thats spot on that mate. You'll have to let us know how you get on playing with it all, Jim
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV

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