VMware vSphere 4 Lab – The work begins! – Part 2

I have already made some tweaks and adjustments to the bill of materials for the VMware lab.  Here is a summary of the changes:

  1. Removed VeolciRaptor 300GB drives.  Since I will have SSD, it’s not needed.  I plan to boot ESX/ESXi from a 8GB or so USB thumb drive, and only use the SSD as storage to share out from VSA’s.
  2. Changed the SSD to an Intel X25-M. Everything I read says the Intel’s are the best performers. My wife has a X18 in her laptop and loves it.  You can get much better drive/value in the 120GB category than the 128GB, so definitely check that out.  Besides NewEgg was out of stock on the WD SSD anyways.
  3. Changed out the 80mm fans to GELID Solutions FN-TX08-20 80mm Silent Temperature controlled fans.  This was a recommendation made by Phillip Jaenke.
  4. Not necessarily going with the Black Caviars, although I locked in on the Synology DS-1010.  Instead I am leaning toward Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS after reading numerous reviews on 2TB drives.  We will see.
  5. Not necessary going to go Hynix on the memory, even though it’s an approved chip by Supermicro.  I may engage crucial and get them to sign off on something that should work.  The thing is I want to go 16GB per box, and I want to populate 2 channels.  So it’s either 2 8GB per box, or likely the less costly 4x4GB per box option.  This would likely be registered ECC 1066mhz memory since 1333mhz is costly.

So the revised list is:

2 Supermicro X8SIL-F motherboard
2 Intel Xeon X3450 Retail (2.66GHz, 4 Cores, 8 Threads)
8 Hynix 4gb DDR3 1066 ECC Registered memory
2 Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH120G2K5 2.5″ 120GB
2 Lian-Li V352B MicroATX case
2 Seasonic X Series 400W power supply
4 GELID Solutions FN-SX12-10 120mm Silent Case Fan
2 GELID Solutions FN-TX08-20 80mm Silent Temp Controlled Fan
5 Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS (2TB each)
1 Synology DS1010+
2 VMware ESXi 4.1

I ordered everything except the memory and drives as I am still shopping for deals on those, I got everything so far from NewEgg.  I will need to move around several ports in my storage lab to free up 1GB ports on my 3750 to make room for this lab.  Each server will require 3 ports (vmnic0, vmnic1, ipmi) and the synology takes 2 ports.  So that is 8 total.  I am going to move my APC managed power strips (3), server iLO ports (4) and terminal server (1) to an older 10/100 switch, and that should give me the necessary space.  Once I get everything built and cabled in, I can continue to work on it even if I am remote.  Lab will likely be with my storage gear in Ft. Lauderdale, yet I have been spending most of my time in Georgia.

My current plan is to run at least the following initially in the lab:

2 NetApp Data OnTap Simulator 8.0
2 EMC Celerra uber VSA
1 EMC Navisphere Simulator
1 UCS Simulator
2 Windows Server 2008 Domain Controllers
1 Microsoft SQL Server (2003 or newer)
2 VMware vCenter
1 vMA
2 Nexus 1000v
1 Dynamips
1 Microsoft Certificate Server

If anyone has any other good suggestions on some virtualized storage or networking stuff please let me know!  Eventually I would like to standup a complete CCIE voice lab on this gear too, which it should be able to do the job quite nice!

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