VMware vSphere 4 Lab: The building begins

All of my equipment for my VMware vSphere 4 lab has arrived!  I popped the 5 drives into the Synology DS1010, and one of them is DoA.  So I have already submitted the RMA to Newegg and hopefully in the next week or so I get that fixed.  I didn’t get to work on it that much yet.  What I have done is disassembled the Lian Li case, which is a very well built case, I am impressed.  The motherboard comes out like a platter and makes maintenance very easy.  I popped the X3450 into the motherboard, it was a bit scary locking down the lever on the CPU as it required more pressure than I anticipated.  I snapped the memory in and also put in the 80mm GELID silent fan.  The Seasonic X Series 400W came in all this fancy packaging with velvet like pouches, it looks like a nice power supply it sure was pricey enough.

The fun begins!

Unfortunately I am pretty busy and can’t get this all put together at least until the weekend of January 1.  I am looking forward to it.  I am going to run the Synology DS1010 in RAID6.  I could run RAID5 with no hot spare and that would give me an extra 2TB, but honestly I just don’t trust the workmanship of todays hard drives that much, so I am going with RAID6.

So the plan is to assemble all this stuff, build a volume on the Synology (probably will take 5+ hours to build the RAID group), upgrade all of the firmware of the BIOS, BMC, etc.  I plan to load ESXi 4.1 on some fast 4GB USB thumb drives, which will install nicely on the internal USB slot on the Supermicro X8SIL-F motherboard.  So far I feel really good about my equipment selection.  I am glad I spent the time doing a lot of the research.  This lab is definitely not cheap, but I plan to get a lot of use out of it.  In addition to just about every VMware application, Nexus 1000, etc, I plan to run Dynamips, a full voice lab, dual Celerra VSA’s, Dual NetApp VSA’s, and a ton of other stuff………I will definitely get my money out of this.

There is some re-tooling required on my current lab switch to move some things around to make room for the 1GB interfaces needed for these ESXi boxes (iSCSI, vMotion, etc).

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