Lab update

November 2, 2014 – 6:59 pm

I got rid of a rack full of equipment (2 ESXi rackmount servers, switches, routers, ASA Firewall, etc…) and replaced everything with a single ESXi server that will run nested environments (for DCA). I read through a few blogs while researching this and from what I can tell, Supermicro motherboards are a safe bet.

Here’s my build:

  • Supermicro X9SRH-7TF motherboard
  • Intel Xeon E5-2609 v2 CPU
  • Noctua NH-U9DX I4 heat sink
  • Kingston KVR16R11D4/16HA 16GB DDR3-1600MHZ ECC x 4 (64GB)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower Window Case Titanium
  • Corsair RM550 Silence ATX
  • Kingston 8GB USB3.0 DataTraveler for the ESXi installation 🙂

I recycled 4 x 1TB SATA disks I had lying around for local storage. Found a good use for it too! (HP VSA). I also already had a Synology box for NFS/iSCSI storage, so I have many options available.

I also added an HP V1910-24G to have hardware based Layer 3 routing. I wish I could afford a gigabit 3750, but this serves the purpose for now.

Once this was all setup, and vSphere/vCenter installed, I started looking for free appliances I could setup to use in my new homelab. First thing I found was Veeam NFR license for VCPs (there are some available for Spiceworks members also). I installed it and during the setup, I saw it supported HP StoreVirtual, so I looked into it (never heard of it before). I found a free 1TB NFR license. I deployed it on my 4 internal 1TB disks (250GB per disk, striped). No RAID5 unfortunately, but it’s for lab use. Anything that requires more security will be deployed on the Synology.

Some links I found…

HP StoreVirtual:

Citrix NetScaler VPX Express:

A few more listed here:

So… Off to installing a bunch of stuff and experimenting with my new lab! Then I’ll go back to prepping for the VCAP-DCA…


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