Home lab setup feedback/suggestions

Shinobi82Shinobi82 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone!

I recently started a new job where i will have to deal with VMware... Because of this i would like to set up a home lab for practice purposes. So far i came up with this components and i hope to get some feedback from you guys.

Case + Mobo: ASRock Deskmini 110
CPU: i3-6100
RAM: 1x 16GB DDR4 (32GB supported)
SSD: 64GB M.2 Transcend
HDD: 500GB Travelstar

I want to buy this setup twice, to configure a cluster and maybe later add a third host.

What do you think about it?


  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,076Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    It's less about the model numbers and more about the resources supplied. How many cores/GHz is that processor? How fast is that hard drive? And how does that compare with what you want to do? Are you planning on running a single hypervisor per box without any additional virtualization? Or are you planning on running nested hypervisors with various operating systems and appliances inside? It's not hard to build a home lab that likely does what you want it to but in addition, you left out your budget. For someone with a $700 budget, a surplus G6 server might be the best option while if someone has a spare $2500, they can probably trick out a workstation.
  • Shinobi82Shinobi82 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    yes it seems i left out some important facts :)

    budget: up to 700-800 for 2-3 hosts.
    virtualization: esxi on all hosts and vcenter for management. on this i will install various VMs.
    CPU: dualcore with hyperthreading and 3,6Ghz. it also supports vt-d/vt-x
    HDD: a standard hdd. nothing special. 5400rpm...

    a real server is too big for me. i would like to keep it as small a possible.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am using NUCs, they are indeed small

    Lego NUC vSAN Cluster – Open902.com

    Not sure if will work for the budget tho
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Posts: 665Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Never underestimate the value of VMware HOL http://www.vmware.com/go/hol
  • jdancerjdancer Posts: 482Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Shinobi82 wrote: »
    HDD: 500GB Travelstar
    What do you think about it?

    I strongly suggest you ditch the HDD. It's all about IOPS. Get a SSD.

    You can also do nested ESXi. I use a i5 with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD using VMware Workstation with Windows 10. No issues.

    You can get ready made ESXi images at http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2015/12/deploying-nested-esxi-is-even-easier-now-with-the-esxi-virtual-appliance.html
  • macboy81macboy81 Posts: 34Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wanted something small and low power I found this link and followed this to build my home lab you may need to shop around for US suppliers as i am in the UK

    The Perfect vSphere 6 Home Lab | Ryan Birk – Virtual Insanity
  • networkjutsunetworkjutsu Senior Member Posts: 275Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Very cool setup man! I too went with Intel NUC with my 2nd ESXi host.
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    I am using NUCs, they are indeed small

    Lego NUC vSAN Cluster – Open902.com

    Not sure if will work for the budget tho
  • sacredboysacredboy Posts: 303Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi guys,

    Based on your the links in your previous posts I picked two options. Intel NUC6i5SYH vs Shuttle DS87. On the one hand Intel NUC6i5SYH supports up to 32 GB RAM but with only one Ethernet adapter. On the other hand Shuttle DS87 supports only up to 16 GB RAM but it has two Built-in Ethernet adapters. What is more important the amount of supported RAM or the number of network interfaces? Could you please give me some advice in this regards.

    Best, sacredboy!
  • networkjutsunetworkjutsu Senior Member Posts: 275Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    You can always buy USB NIC. This guy posted some drivers that you can use.
  • sacredboysacredboy Posts: 303Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    What about 16 GB RAM? Is it enough for playing around?
    Best, sacredboy!
  • networkjutsunetworkjutsu Senior Member Posts: 275Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    More RAM is my vote.
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,027Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    32GB of ram definitely trumps two nics. YOu can start with 16gb if cost is an issue,b ut get the nuc so you can go up to 32gb eventually. My microserver only has 16gb and it's definitely a limitation.
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