I’ve outgrown my current home lab setup. The desire and passion I have to go deeper in VMware technology I had to expand. Passion to learn has no boundaries or limitations by nature but there’s a budget and cost that tends to stand in the way. But I generally default to, if there’s a will there’s a way.
Current Home Lab (Phase 1):
- 3 Intel NUC’s Skull Canyon (NUC6i7KYK)
- i7 Processors
- 512 & 256 NVMe storage
- 32GB RAM
Currently running following:
- Multiple Domain Controllers (ADDS)
- Exchange Servers
- Key Management System (KMS)
- VMware NSX
- Edge Services Gateways
- Load Balancers
- VMware Site Recovery Manager
- VMware vSphere Replication
- vCenter (VCSA) + VCHA
- VMware Network Insight
- VMware vRealize Log Insight
- VMware vRealize Operations
- Various other OS’s (Client Windows, Linux Web Servers etc..)
Everything is great and runs perfectly but there’s a problem. That problem was extending beyond a single cluster and/or ‘site/location’.
Purchased an additional 3 more Intel NUC Skull Canyons with the same specs as Phase 1.
Home Lab (Phase 2):
- Compute: 62 Ghz
- Memory: 192 GB
- Storage: 5 TB
Storage is backed by an all SSD Synology.
Public Primary (Prod) to Secondary (DR) is handled by Cisco ASA appliances with statics.
Networking: Force10 (Dell) 48-port 1/10GB switches.
- Extend layer 2 boundaries for site failover. – NSX
- Site Recovery Manager for DR failover testing and orchestration.
- vSphere Replication for non-array replication.
- VDI deployment
- vRealize Automation
Bill of Materials: For your own NUC cluster:
Memory – Crucial 32GB Kit (Buy this memory or you might encounter issues)
Samsung 960 EVO/Pro Series NVMe M.2 (Storage is dependent if you want to run the NUCs in a vSAN environment or not. If shared storage is going to be used then local storage isn’t needed).
StarTech USB 3.0 Ethernet LAN Adapter This allows the ability to use a USB port to ethernet for storage or anything else. Highly recommended. Custom driver built and install instruction below:
William Lam at VMware built this driver which works flawlessly. Link: StarTech USB 3.0 to Ethernet for NUC
This is a very short run down of the home lab update. Stay tuned to the future blog post series and how we achieve this design outside of production.
Thanks for reading!