About a month ago, I began to look at options for a refresh of my home lab. The equipment I have is almost 3 years old. While it has done a great job as a lab, one of the hosts is now dead and another is starting to fail.
My current lab consist of the following configuration:
- 3 X ASUS P3-P5G33 Intel Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Duo / P4 / Celeron 400 Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel G33 Intel GMA 3100 Barebone
- 3 X ASUS 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-22B1LT LightScribe Support
- 3 X Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80580Q9400
- 3 X Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
- 6 X CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model VS4GBKIT667D2 G
-3 X Intel PWLA8391GTL 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI Desktop Adapter PRO/1000 GT Low Profile – OEM
For storage I have an IOMEGA StorCenter ix4-200d
As you can see, the above is not a bad config…but with hosts failing and 8GB RAM per host becoming insufficient for my needs, I thought I’d look at what else is out there. Like any good techy guy, I decided to take a look and get pointers from what others in the VMware community are doing. I ran into a couple of useful blogs from Kendrick Coleman and Didier Pironet who were using the Shuttle PC as part of their labs.
After some further investigation and consideration, I settled on the following configuration for the Shuttle SH67H3.
For those that might want to consider this patform, below is my BOM configuration from NewEgg.com for a single host. I plan to have 2-3 hosts.
I also added an Intel EXPI9402PT Dual Server Adapter from eBay for $99. Shop around you might be able to get a different NIC or similar model for cheaper.
I finally ordered and received all of the components for 1 host. I configured the host to boot ESX from a USB drive. Initially, I had trouble getting ESX to boot as it would PSOD during the boot process. However, I updated the Shuttle firmware and that took care of that issue.
This little Shuttle really gets the job done. I’ve added it to my existing cluster with the older hosts I have. Can’t wait to retire those and add a few more Shuttles!
I did this before the release of vSphere 5. So, my next step is to find some spare time and get my vSphere environment upgraded from 4.1 to 5!
Now that VMworld 2011 is over, I wanted to share my experience of this year’s virtualization main event.
There were a couple of key points I wanted to make sure I got out of the conference. First, I wanted to get a further technical understanding in some areas I did not have alot of exposure to such as vCloud Director, vCenter Operations, and vCenter Chargeback. Second, I wanted to get a better understanding of how VMware is innovating around the application layer and the technologies associated with that area such as the vFabric product family. …And on one other note, I was very excited and impressed about the VMware AppBlast announcement. I can’t wait to dive in and peel back the layers on this technology to better understand it!
These areas were important to me because I believe it is going to be imperative for the many VMware Engineers out there to have an understanding of the Management & Automation capabilities and the Application layer technologies. The hypervisor is the foundation layer but it is going to be the layers higher in the stack that are beginning to really drive Cloud technology and innovation. This is apparent in VMware’s announcements and offerings. I’ll save further discussion on this topic for another blog post.
VMworld is an opportunity not just to attend sessions and labs but to meet people and become active in the virtualization community.
I had a great time meeting some of the key contributors in the VMware community. Although I met many in VMworld 2009, there seemed to be so many more two years later. In fact, several people I was hoping to bump into became just impossible with the enormity of the conference and busy schedules.
One nice thing is that the awesome VMUnderground party, Veeam party, CXI and others helped in meeting new people and seeing twitter friends etc. Outside of attending sessions and gaining knowledge, I think this is what VMworld is about..the virtualization community.
The VMworld party was super crowded and The Killers were AWESOME!!
I didn’t attend the after pool party. Rather, I went and enjoyed a nice steak and wine at Delmonico Steakhouse to cap the evening. I just couldn’t bring myself to be herded to the pool area with 20,000 other people. BUT it would have been awesome to see @jtroyer take that dive into the pool!
This was my second VMworld (2009 was first) and it seems to get better every year. There are definitely some pain points with a large attendance of 20,000. Overall I thought VMware and the Venetian did a great job. The logistics behind this must have been incredible.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to attend VMworld this year. Once again, I want to thank Greg Stuart and sponsors for the opportunity to win the trip!
I hope to be a bigger contributor to the community and give back some to so many others that give so much in this community.
I’ll see everyone in San Francisco next year!