Building home lab for study.

tigerthekidtigerthekid Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm looking to build a home lab to study for my VCP. I'm registered to take the Installation and Configuration late April. I bought this book to self-study before the class: Mastering VMware Infrastructure 3 [ Amazon.com: Mastering VMware Infrastructure 3: Chris McCain: Books ].

I'm looking to run ESXi on the cheap. I've heard Dell D620s work well with ESXi (at least for study purposes). So something along the lines of this will work? Dell Optiplex GX620 Computer 3GHZ 1024MB DVD CDRW XP - eBay (item 110344203325 end time Feb-27-09 16:55:13 PST)

Any other hints as to prepare for the VCP besides the above study guide, home lab, and the class?

Thanks so much all!
~J.J.~

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I got a pair of HP DL360 G3s and ran OpenFiler in a VM on my HTPC for my iSCSI SAN. You can also load up ESX in Workstation if you have a machine that can handle all of that.

    Here are some more resources: http://www.techexams.net/forums/virtualization/39571-vcp-course-materials.html#post286421
  • tierstentiersten Member Posts: 4,505
    I use 2 HP ML115s in my ESX cluster. I needed to edit the config slightly so the nVidia SATA driver would load on the specific chipset used in the ML115. Apart from that no other changes were needed. The HD is just used to store ESX. I don't keep any VMs on there. Each node has 8GB of RAM.

    Storage is another ML115 with a hardware RAID card running RHEL with NFS and IET.
  • tigerthekidtigerthekid Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    What about running ESXi 3.5 within Workstation 6? I've seen some how-tos online. Is that feasible? I run a Vostro 200 as my desktop at home.
    ~J.J.~
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    What about running ESXi 3.5 within Workstation 6? I've seen some how-tos online. Is that feasible? I run a Vostro 200 as my desktop at home.

    I think someone said something about that a couple of posts up ;)

    I know this refers to the beta, but you're going to want to use these settings: Running ESX 3.5 and 3i Under VMWare Workstation 6.5 Beta Build 91182 Virtualization, Windows, Infrastructure and all that “stuff” in-between

    You will need 6.5 (which is a free upgrade), and not 6.0 though.

    The single disk in my laptop seemed to be a bottleneck, so I just picked up a couple of those servers on eBay for convenience (I got them both for under $300 shipped). It's definitely feasible, but your experience is going to depend on your system's resources.
  • tigerthekidtigerthekid Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    He he oops. I see that now. I think I'll try that route and see how things go. Thanks :)
    ~J.J.~
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    To do the ESX in a box (inside of Workstation 6.5) you don't want to try it with less than a dual core machine. You should be able to find something like that pretty cheap.

    Also you don't have to do ESXi if you don't want to... you can register at VMWare and download ESX and run in trial mode for 60 days.

    That Chris McCain book is EXCELLENT. A great reference.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • stupidboystupidboy Member Posts: 470
    I'm looking to build a home lab to study for my VCP. I'm registered to take the Installation and Configuration late April. I bought this book to self-study before the class: Mastering VMware Infrastructure 3 [ Amazon.com: Mastering VMware Infrastructure 3: Chris McCain: Books ].

    I'm looking to run ESXi on the cheap. I've heard Dell D620s work well with ESXi (at least for study purposes). So something along the lines of this will work? Dell Optiplex GX620 Computer 3GHZ 1024MB DVD CDRW XP - eBay (item 110344203325 end time Feb-27-09 16:55:13 PST)

    Sorry, I am not sure what tin to buy. My company had a couple of HP ML110's they got on the cheap, they work well with ESX once you change the SATA BIOS settings (as found of VMTN Communities).
    Any other hints as to prepare for the VCP besides the above study guide, home lab, and the class?

    Thanks so much all!

    Working towards the VCP exam I suggest the VCP Exam Cram Book by Elias Khnaser. I found it was an excellent compact guide to all the things covered on the course with some useful extras.

    Other than reading materials, lots of hands on. Working with an ESX install will really help.
  • tigerthekidtigerthekid Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I ended up getting an HP D530 off of eBay (I'll bump up the RAM and HDD space).

    For the home lab setup, should I install ESX on one machine and ESX on another running OpenFiler to get iSCSI up to store the virtual machines? Then would I be able to install VirtualCenter on my desktop (A Dell Vostro 200 running Ubuntu) to manage the boxes? I feel I'm confused as to what I need to get the lab environment up and running. Can I run ESX with just one machine?

    Thanks for the info on the study guides. I'll probably pick up exam cram 2 as my final study guide for the test.

    Thanks!
    ~J.J.~
  • tierstentiersten Member Posts: 4,505
    For the home lab setup, should I install ESX on one machine and ESX on another running OpenFiler to get iSCSI up to store the virtual machines? Then would I be able to install VirtualCenter on my desktop (A Dell Vostro 200 running Ubuntu) to manage the boxes? I feel I'm confused as to what I need to get the lab environment up and running. Can I run ESX with just one machine?
    You want have at least 2 ESX nodes + some sort of shared storage so you can do VMotion and DRS.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    And VC only runs on Windows, so you can't use Ubuntu unless you want to be stuck with the limited web interface.
  • tigerthekidtigerthekid Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I can throw Windows on the desktop without issue.

    I think I got it down now.

    So I can install ESX on two seperate machines (networked together of course) and run VirtualCenter on my Windows Desktop (on the same network). Then install OpenFiler as a virtual machine on one of the ESX installs running iSCSI to store the virtual machines?
    ~J.J.~
  • tierstentiersten Member Posts: 4,505
    So I can install ESX on two seperate machines (networked together of course) and run VirtualCenter on my Windows Desktop (on the same network). Then install OpenFiler as a virtual machine on one of the ESX installs running iSCSI to store the virtual machines?
    You can install VirtualCenter server inside a VM if you want. It'll install okay on XP. You need a Windows PC to run the VC client though.

    So long as you don't do anything like migrate your OpenFiler VM to the storage in your OpenFiler VM then it'll work. It'll be slow tho.
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