ESXi 4.1 u1 WhiteBox Home Lab

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.

Software

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.

SAN HeadQuarters 2.1 Upgrade Install

Upgraded my SAN HeadQuarters 2.1 from 2.0 and wanted to share my Upgrade.

Go to http://www.equallogic.com/ download the relatively small 44 MB file.

Double Click the SANHQSetup32And64.exe file and you will see the following screen. This part is where the Installer will check for an perquisites. Then it will prepare the installer.

The next section will show you the recommended upgrade actions. This is where is also gives you the option to archive existing SAN HeadQuarters Data (You can also pick the location of your archive). Go ahead and click continue.

The Installer will then begin to archive your existing data to the directory of your choosing.

After the Archive is complete, the installer will show you the location where the archive is stored. You should go ahead and document this location for a later time.

Now you will go ahead with the upgrade.

At this point it will Stop the Monitor Service – Install the new application files – Initialize Monitor Service

The Install is now done, with the check box selected to Launch the SAN HeadQuarters Client, click Finish.
Once SAN HQ Launches it will reconnect your Equallogic Arrays. This install takes only about 10 Min’s from start to finish. There is no reboot required.
One of the notable new features that I liked was the ability to get updates from the GUI, which it will also periodically check and alert you of new updates.

VMworld 2010 Registration (SWAG)

All registered and ready to enjoy VMworld 2010.

Registration

I have to say it went pretty good. Arrived at the Moscone Centre around 1:55 PM and a line was starting to form. Right at 2:00 PM the line started flowing, and everyone was in the process of registration. By 2:15 PM I had my Badge and was on the way to Room 101 for my Materials. Now this was a little bit Slow, thanks to my Friend Twitter and all the people twiting I found out they were have Techinical difficulties with the RFID scanners, they went to pen and paper to recorf everything. Around 3:00 I was in and getting my SWAG, but by this time they had the scanners fixed and were really starting to flow through the people. So all in all only took about an hour to get registered.
One thing that would be nice. Is when you register into the Hotel, your SWAG and badge is sitting for you and waiting in your hotel room. Now I know that is a dream, but Dreams sometimes come true.

SWAG
The normal thing, some sort of Bag, t-shirt, and Misc other things. But I have to say I like this bag. I’m not going to say to much just look at the pictures.

VMWorld 2010

VMworld is just around the Corner and I am getting pretty excited about it.

This is what I plan to see, the question is how many will I actually get to see. ; -)

 What are your sessions?


Monday
9:00 AM-10:00 AM BC6701 VMware Data Recovery – All You Need to Know!
10:30 AM-11:30 AM EA6705 Best Practices for Virualizing Active Directory
12:00 PM-1:00 PM ALT3003 VMware vSphere™ Performance & Tuning
1:30 PM-2:30 PM EA7849 Design, Deploy, and Optimize Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 on vSphere
3:00 PM-4:00 PM SP8543 Backup & Disaster Recovery – How to Protect Systems and Applications Across Physical, Virtual, and Cloud Environments
Tuesday
11:00 AM-12:00 PM EA7850 Design, Deploy, and Optimize Microsoft SQL 2008
12:30 PM-1:30 PM SS1002 Accelerating the Virtual Era with Dell
2:00 PM-3:00 PM TA8233 Prioritizing Storage Resource Allocation in ESX Based Virtual Environments Using Storage I/O Control
3:30 PM-4:30 PM TA7750 Understanding Virtualization Memory Management Concepts
5:00 PM-6:00 PM TA7805 Tech Preview: Storage DRS
Wednesday
9:00 AM-10:00 AM MA6580 Bridge the ESX/ESXi Management Gap Using the vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) – Tips & Tricks Included
10:30 AM-11:30 AM TA8133 Best Practices to Increase Availability and Throughput for VMware
12:00 PM-1:00 PM BC7773 VMware Site Recovery Manager: Misconceptions and Misconfigurations
1:30 PM-2:30 PM TA8270 Get the Best VM Density From Your Virtualization Platform
3:00 PM-4:00 PM TA8065 Storage Best Practices, Performance Tuning and Troubleshooting
4:30 PM-5:30 PM TA7743 ESX iSCSI News, Configuration, and Best Practices
Thursday
10:30 AM-11:30 AM TA6944 PowerCLI Is For Administrators!
12:00 PM-1:00 PM TA8900 vSphere Administration For The Average Admin
1:30 PM-2:30 PM EA8547 Disaster Recovery of Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, and Sharepoint Server
3:00 PM-4:00 PM TA7805 Tech Preview: Storage DRS