Lab Box

Trying to put together a lab box on the cheap. From what I've read, it needs to be 64bit and support hardware virtualization for KVM.

I already have an extra Celeron G1840 processor, which meets the above requirements. And I have an extra case and PSU. I can pick up a cheap H81 motherboard, 4GB RAM, and a refurb 160GB HDD at my local Microcenter for $66. I've also got an extra 1280x1024 monitor I can use.

Seem like that will work alright?

Comments

  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Posts: 217Member
    And I suppose it would help if I mentioned what I'm studying for: RHCSA
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I believe you can get a beefier setup on eBay with a little more than $66. You'd be surprised with what you can get from there. I wish I've done this years ago. Head over to the Virtualization forum on TE and check out the home lab threads to get better idea what you can find there.
  • varelgvarelg Posts: 790Banned
    I assume you will be doing hardware install of Red Hat/CentOS 7 on that machine. And that will be done for the sake of the virtualization objective of the RHCSA exam.
    VMWare freeware supports nested virtualization, if KVM is the only reason why you would consider hardware installation of Linux. Linux is very finicky when it comes to running on commodity hardware. I have dual boot on my Windows laptop but I rarely am booting into my Linux partition. Vast majority of my prep was done on VirtualBox. As far as hardware specs, 16 GB of RAM and a tad outdated A8 processor did the trick.
    I am posioning the forums.
  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Posts: 217Member
    Thanks for the replies. Alright, I'll skip buying any hardware and just study with virtual machines. Saving money is always good.
  • VeritiesVerities Posts: 1,162Member
    Concur with Varelg. VMs are the way to go and I urge everyone on here to use them every time this question about studying for the RHCSA is asked. However, nested virtualization on VMware blows so make sure you have a lot of RAM to throw at them.
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Posts: 1,209Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I see my initial response to OP's question was somewhat inappropriate.

    However, I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and suggest the OP to learn KVM/QEMU with libvirt front-end tools and wrestle with it if he truly want to become a linux admin. KVM is a type 1 hypervisor while VMware Player/Workstation is type 2. With type 2 hypervisor, he'd get less resources for his VMs, which is why more RAM is crucial for this type of set up. With type 2, he'd still have to do some work, setting up the virtual networks and install guest-additions on the guests.

    The only advantages I can think of with the type 2 hypervisor is the small learning curve and convenient snapshots. Although, snapshots can be done with libvirt too. Once you truly understand how to work with KVM/QEMU, you'd be able to do a lot more down the road. You'd be able to write a script to build the entire labs. How awesome would that be! OpenStack would become significantly easier if you ever find yourself working with it someday.

    Sufficiently passing the RHCSA is not good enough, IMO. The purpose of passing the RHCSA is to become a well-rounded linux admin who can take some interesting challenges and tackle them. I implore you to at least give it a chance to make it easier once you decide to go up the RH cert path.
  • mindcrankmindcrank Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I believe you can get a beefier setup on eBay with a little more than $66. You'd be surprised with what you can get from there. I wish I've done this years ago. Head over to the Virtualization forum on TE and check out the home lab threads to get better idea what you can find there.

    This ^ eBay is a great place to look for decommissioned servers that made fantastic ESXi hosts :)
    Certifications: A+, Sec+, CCENT, CCNA, CCNA Security, VCP6-DCV, CISSP, C|EH, CPT, Project+, Linux+, GPEN, OSCP, GXPN, GCIH, CISSP-ISSEP, OSCE
    WGU, BS-IT, Security: Complete! November 2016
    Legend: Completed, In-Progress, Next
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