Building/Buying a machine for a VMWare Home lab

antcantc Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi All,

I am about to build a machine to install the above software to run my vm's.
I would like to make sure i have this running on a decent machine. Currently I have an old machine that I am wondering if can handle the job
perhaps with an upgrade of ram.

Specs are -

Pentium DC E5300
4 gig ram
Gigabyte eq45m-s2 motherboard

I guess if that spec isn't compatible then perhaps a cpu upgrade would be possible?

Other options I have looked at are either a 2nd hand hp ml110/115 g5 or perhaps a newer g6.

What would you recommend as the best course of action?

Comments

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    It seems some E5300s do have VT support. Check your specific model here: Intel® Pentium® Processor E5300 (2M Cache, 2.60 GHz, 800 MHz FSB)

    What OS will those VMs run and how many VMs are you looking to run?
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What "VMware" software are you going to use? Once it is setup, what are you doing with it?
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • antcantc Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies. After further inspection of my e5300 it seems it doesnt have vt-x support. It seems you need an SLGTL model of the e5300 to have have the virtual support and mine is S-spec: SLB9U so looks like it wont be any use.

    So i guess my options are the following -

    Purchase a quad core cpu with vt-x support (ocuk still sell some skt 775 cpu that are quad core)

    Build a new machine based around an i5/7 cpu

    Purchase something like a hp ml110/115 g5/6 machine.

    WHat would you guys all suggest?

    To answer the questions about what vmware software I will be running on it i want to run vmware esxi. Plan is to run my virtual machines on this, then using vmware fusion on my mac either create an xp or windows 7 client vm which i will install vsphere onto which i can then use to connect and manage my vm's on the esxi server as far as i understand. I am however quite new to this and this is all learning for me so if I have got anything wrong then please correct me.
  • antcantc Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I also seem to be having a lot of trouble using that HCL on the vmware site. It cant seem to get it to find anything I am looking for

    Any tips of suggestions?
  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Member Posts: 234 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If your goal is simply to learn, I would either buy or build (I would build) a Windows 7 machine, get a lot of RAM, at least 8GB, I would shoot for 16GB though. You could buy a copy of VMware workstation and install vSphere 4 or 5 on it. You can use Openfiler to act as your SAN and you will have everything on one box.

    I have an Intel Q6600 Quad core, 8GB of RAM, a 7200 RPM hard drive I use VMware workstation 7 to run vSphere 4 and 5, I have not had any issues.
  • antcantc Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi DigitalZeroOne

    It is just for learning and thats a good idea to be honest using a desktop machine. I thought it was a better idea though to gain exposure to esxi while i learn as im then using/seeing another piece of technology i will most likely encounter at work which will help i think.
  • antcantc Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have just had a crazy thought!!! Think I may have gone slightly mad today, cant believe i didnt think of this earlier.
    As a completely seperate option to anything I have mentioned above, I am sat here typing these replies on my quad core 3ghz i7 mac with 16 gig ram. I could just get vmware fusion for my mac and then i wont need to purchase any seperate hardware??

    I believe vmware fusion is just as good as vmware workstation?

    What do you think?
  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Member Posts: 234 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have installed ESX/ESXi at home and at work. The actual install process won't look in different on a Blade server or running in VMware workstation. The only major differences would be going into the BIOS and seeing the different options on servers vs home machines. Enterprise servers would also have different management tools, such as HP Onboard Administrator, but that, at As long as you have enough RAM you could easily run 2 ESXi hosts and do just about everything that you need to learn ESXi.

    I would use the cost savings of getting a desktop and apply it towards training videos.
  • antcantc Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    So to confirm you are saying getting vmware workstation (or in my case on the mac vmware fusion) will allow me to do do what I need to revise for my exams?

    Will certainly save money on not buying hardware and using that money towards training material is a very good idea!!
    I have installed ESX/ESXi at home and at work. The actual install process won't look in different on a Blade server or running in VMware workstation. The only major differences would be going into the BIOS and seeing the different options on servers vs home machines. Enterprise servers would also have different management tools, such as HP Onboard Administrator, but that, at As long as you have enough RAM you could easily run 2 ESXi hosts and do just about everything that you need to learn ESXi.

    I would use the cost savings of getting a desktop and apply it towards training videos.
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Get the trial versions of Fusion and vSphere and get started. Like with Workstation, you can install ESXi in a VM in Fusion.
    http://www.vmware.com/go/tryfusion
    http://www.vmware.com/go/tryvsphere

    If it works out, go ahead and buy Fusion. With the machine you have (a Mac Pro?) you should have no problem running two ESXi VMs, a VM for vCenter, and a VM for shared storage (OpenFiler, FreeNAS, etc.). Google will be your friend when setting this up since there are a million and one virtualization-focused blogs with useful info. This should get you started:
    Installing ESXi 4 in VMware Fusion

    If you goal is to learn vSphere, this is better than the original plan of having ESXi installed on one physical machine. In the real world you won't see too many deployments using a single server with local storage (i.e. no SAN). To pass the VCP you will need hand-on experience with an environment with two hosts and a SAN, which you can run in Fusion.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Member Posts: 234 ■■■□□□□□□□
    antc wrote: »
    I believe vmware fusion is just as good as vmware workstation?
    What do you think?

    I have never used fusion, but since it's really for OS X uses to run Windows, I don't think they are really the same.

    VMware Compatibility Guide: Guest/Host Search
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    Get the trial versions of Fusion and vSphere and get started. Like with Workstation, you can install ESXi in a VM in Fusion.
    http://www.vmware.com/go/tryfusion
    http://www.vmware.com/go/tryvsphere

    If it works out, go ahead and buy Fusion. With the machine you have (a Mac Pro?) you should have no problem running two ESXi VMs, a VM for vCenter, and a VM for shared storage (OpenFiler, FreeNAS, etc.). Google will be your friend when setting this up since there are a million and one virtualization-focused blogs with useful info. This should get you started:
    Installing ESXi 4 in VMware Fusion

    If you goal is to learn vSphere, this is better than the original plan of having ESXi installed on one physical machine. In the real world you won't see too many deployments using a single server with local storage (i.e. no SAN). To pass the VCP you will need hand-on experience with an environment with two hosts and a SAN, which you can run in Fusion.
    ^^ This.

    Your MAC sounds more than powerful enough to do what you're wanting to do. I did a few write-ups on running ESXi nested on Workstation with FreeNAS as a Virtual SAN. You can do the same thing with Fusion on your MAC.

    Make sure you download vCenter. You'll need to setup a 64-bit Windows VM to install it on. Then you can add your 2 ESXi VMs to vCenter and learn all the advanced features.
  • scott28ttscott28tt Member Posts: 686 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Poor old VMware Player - she gets so few mentions yet she's completely free and lets you create VMs that can run ESXi - she may not be as powerful as Workstation but she'll do the job...

    VMware Player: Run Windows 7, Chrome OS - Free Download for a Virtual PC
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP5 / VCAP4-DCA / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012
    Blog - http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com
    Twitter - http://twitter.com/vmtraining
    Email - [email protected]
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