Home Lab – Part 1: Present State

A little background on my home lab since that’s something I haven’t really discussed on here before and after some Twitter chats this morning I figured I would toss it up as a reference to a few future posts of how my lab is going to evolve.  It’s a pretty simple lab, but it can still accomplish nearly every feature that vSphere currently has which I need for learning and certification purposes.  The only exception would be my networking gear as it’s a bit more elaborate but provides nearly everything I need to scale any networking needs.

Networking

  • Cisco 3760G-24-TS x2 switches with stacking cables

These are a bit loud I won’t lie (not 1U server fan loud), but they’re full layer 3 and I’m very familiar with the Cisco IOS CLI. They’re stacked for cross-stack etherchannel configurations and testing different NIC failover types.

Compute

Two ESXi Hosts based on the Baby Dragon concept by RootWrym

Storage

  • 1 QNAP TS-459 Pro II
  • Western Digital 1TB Black Drives x4

Housing

All of these components fit nicely into my IKEA Expedit shelving unit.  The networking switches sit on top of it but that’s OK.  I have some other equipment that’s work provided for working from home that sits on top as well.

Each one of the Lian Li cases fit perfectly into one of the shelves of the cube and my QNAP does as well.  This leaves me an open spot to expand my lab a bit further or I have room on the other side of my desk for another cube if I need it.  I’d like to add a few more hosts as I’m going to be digging deep into the vCloud offerings from VMware.  In part 2, I’ll be discussing my goals and requirements for evolving the lab.

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