This all came about from the amount of testing and learning I have been doing from home. Decided I needed to create a better environment for this but on a very small budget.
Before this I used VMware Workstation for all my testing needs (which is great by the way) and will still use it, but it started to get more and more difficult to accomplish my testing with this limited setup, and multiple systems running VMware Workstation. I wanted a more centralized setup where I could manage all and with some ease.
System Information x2
Model: OptiPlex 755 SFF
CPU: Intel Q6600
Memory: 8 GB of RAM, upgraded from 2 GB’s
Nic: Onboard Intel 82566DM, PCIe Intel Pro 1000 CT
PSU: 275 Watt
Hard Drive: 80 GB SATA
These systems take up very little room and consume a small amount of power.
Shared Storage: OpenFiler, NAS Appliance.
Network: NetGear ProSafe GS108, 8-Port, which supports Jumbo Frames, and VLAN’s.
Installed ESXi 4.1 U1 on both systems, and for 60 Days (vCenter Evaluation) get to enjoy a HA/DRS Cluster, which will make this setup very green with full DPM support which allows one system to go into Standby when not needed.
This setup provides me with 16 GB’s of Memory, and 19 GHz of processing power. It will provide me with the ability to run several VM’s at once, without affecting my Desktop System, which in turn will give me a much better lab experience.
This solution allowed me to stay in a limited budget, with being able to source the Dell OptiPlex systems for very cheap, and only having to add extra memory, network cards, and a switch. I got this all up and running for less than $400.00.