In this tutorial you will be shown the ideal VMware home lab setup using Dell Poweredge r620 servers.
A great way to learn about VMware technology is by starting a home lab. A home lab will help you learn about technology by providing you with an enjoyable, low-stress way to do so. It will also help you find out the areas of technology you are interested in. In addition, a home lab is practical because you can use it to service your own home.
What is a VMware Home Lab?
A VMware Home Lab is a place for experimentation, for testing new ideas, for learning new things about VMware, and for having fun. It is a place outside of the office where you can do personal projects that may lead to professional development. Well, it depends on what you decide to do with your newfound knowledge because some projects may not always lead to professional development, but they often do.
The best VMware IT professionals have a home lab. It usually consists of one or more servers running a virtualization environment and a storage solution to support various applications. Networking professionals may build a Cisco-centric home lab to test out their networking ideas.
What would I need?
To start you would need a capable budget friendly firewall. UDM Pro or pfSense. I myself absolutely love the Unifi UDM Pro. Best bang for the buck, so much capability.
- Unifi UDM Pro
Now you will need a great managed switch with many ports. I chose a POE switch just in case you would like to have Wi-Fi access points and a VoIP phone in your setup.
- Ubiquiti Networks USW-24-POE Gen 2 120W UniFi Managed Gigabit Layer 2 Ethernet Switch with SFP, 24x RJ45 Ports
Don’t forget your ethernet cables for your equipment. You will need about 17 ethernet cables to tie everything togeather.
- 2 sets of Cable Matters 10-Pack Snagless Short Cat 6 Ethernet Cable 7 ft (Cat 6 Cable, Cat6 Cable, Internet Cable, Network Cable) in Black
For servers well… I am a fan boy of Dell Poweredge servers. We will be using the refurbished Dell r620 which is truly capable of doing every task you want it to.
- 1 server for VMware VCenter Server
- You will need 2 servers for VMware ESXI
- 1 Storage Server
Since all these servers are the same and use the same hard drives, you will be able to move some around to add more storage to your storage server.
This should complete your Lab for VMware and your setup would look like the diagram below. Have fun and enjoy!