As a confirmed Homelab freak and a#vDM30in30 participant, I guess that a post on the content of my lab would be pretty much expected. I’m a permanent member of staff in a large company, so I do have access to a considerable amount of kit on different continents within which I can play around at times, but I’m still of the opinion that having something to mess around with at home is viable.
If you have a Homelab or if you are thinking of constructing a Homelab, if you need to plan on a budget or want to know what everyone else is using, if you’ve wondered if you’re better off with a Cloudlab, but are not sure of the TCO involved, if you are studying for certifications, have a thirst for knowledge or just money to burn, then today sees the launch of a site designed just for you.
So, you’ve got a nice new vCenter 6 up and running, maybe you have an external PSC as well? Jolly good! Now what? There’s a whole bunch of additional configuration items that you should look at amending before too long. Log in as your SSO Admin account - firstname.lastname@example.org (or whatever you changed it to during the installation) and away we go. Let’s start with something new - the Download Remote Console option.
It was time to replace my old workhorse HP ML115’s with some new kit ready for the vSphere 6 launch and given the amount of commentary around the community at large I decided to take the plunge and source a bunch of Intel NUC devices, namely the D54250WYK model. No point doing things by halves, so I got three* and stuck 16GB memory in each, which should give me enough room to build a decent lab!
Following directly on from my previous post where I install a PSC, it’s time for a vCenter. There’s not a lot of point having one without the other. The webpage I used to install the PSC is still open so I can just click on Install again and accept the EULA again and it is right back to the connecting to target server options once more. The same options as last time for this.
So at last, vSphere 6 release day. Let’s crack on with this new PSC stuff! vSphere 6.0 splits vCenters into a Platform Services Controller piece (SSO, licensing, Certificates - all the bits that really tie your setup together) and the vCenter installation itself. These can be on the same server (VM, right?) or different servers, creating stand-alone PSC’s which can be load balanced and so on. The vCenter Deployment Guide has been available for a few days already and that is really a step by step guide through the installations that you can do.
After setting up the basics of a Cisco 3550 in the previous blog in this series, it is time to carry out the more advanced setup. Here I’ll step through some of the options that are good to set up if you want to run a vSphere homelab on one of this type of switch. Ideally, you will want one which is L3 capable so routes as well as switches (the 3550 series is one of those oddities that can be L2 only or L3 as well, depending on the age or model).
I’ve been running a homelab for a number of years, but with the impending release of vSphere 6, my pair of old HP ML115 servers were looking a little tired. After being selected as a vExpert in 2015, I figured it was time to treat myself to some new infrastructure and also to rig up a proper network solution to underpin it all. I’d had an old Cisco 3550 (the layer 3 version) hanging around for a while waiting for this moment.