Home Lab Environment

Setting up the Home Lab Environment

The main reason behind building a Lab at Home, like many others also do, is to help me study and learn.

The specification of the hardware I used for the Lab can be found here.

To give you a better understanding of the setup and the nesting that is happening, I have drawn the below diagram. You can see that everything is on a single physical machine running VMware ESXi 6.0 U2, and the picture below represents the logical design of my lab. A physical switch, a physical server, and everything else virtual.

Logical Design

Vgnosis Logical Design

 

The Main Lab “Infrastructure” Setup

Let’s outline what our basic infrastructure components will be for the Lab.

Hostname OS Description Hardware
vgnosisesx01 Vmware ESXi 6.0U2 vGnosis Physical ESXi Host HP Proliant DL360 G7
vgnosis2k01 Windows 2012 R2 vGnosis Domain Controller and DNS Virtual Machine
vgnosisvap01 Virtual Appliance – SLES 11 vGnosis PSC (Platform Services Controller) Virtual Machine
vgnosisvap02 Virtual Appliance – SLES 11 vGnosis VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance) Virtual Machine
vgnosis2k03 Windows 2012 R2 vGnosis VUM (Vmware Update Manager) Virtual Machine
sw01 Cisco IOS vGnosis Cisco Switch Cisco WS-C3750E-48PD

 

Networking

Based on best practices and trying to mimic a Production setup, we will separate the different types of traffic as much as possible. For the Lab setup we will need the below VLANs.

Usage Subnet VLAN ID
Default 192.168.1.0/24 1
Vmware_Mgmnt 192.168.2.0/24 102
Vmware_vMotion 192.168.3.0/24 103
Windows_Srvr 192.168.4.0/24 104
Linux_Srvr 192.168.5.0/24 105
Desktop 192.168.6.0/24 106
VSAN 192.168.7.0/24 107

 

Based on the above I have created the required VLANs on physical switch (I will post a document on how to create the vlans on a 3750E switch).

 

vGnosis Show Vlan

 

I have installed and configured ESXi on the Physical Host vgnosisesx01, and also created the Standard Virtual Switch for the Management Network.

vGnosis vSwitch0

As you can see on the logical diagram at the beginning of the document, we will only use a standard switch for the management network, everything else will be on the vDS (Virtual Distributed Switch).

 

The configuration of the vDS is done on the vCenter Server, so our next document will be on how to build the PSC (Platform Services Controller) and VCSA (vCenter Server Appliance).

Continue Reading

Platform Services Controller (PSC) Replication Latency – Enhanced Linked Mode

At work, we have deployed a  PSC / VCSA 6U1  in Singapore, and linked it to our London PSC on the same domain,

so we can use Enhannced Linked Mode.

Below diagram diagram describes the PSC / VCSA deployment.

 

PSC_Replication

Tried to logon to VCSA01 which is in our London vSphere and it took 10 minutes for the web client to load.

VCSA02 which is in Singapore appeared on the screen and couldn’t be expanded.

Hosts and Clusters on VCSA01 didn’t show any tabs. So, Web Client wasn’t responding as it should, and couldn’t do any work.

c# client worked OK.

As soon as we powered off PSC02 / VCSA02, Web client started responding as it should.

 

It seems that PSC replication is affected by high latency, which in our case is ~ 200ms.

 

Question here is why VMware or any of the nice blogs around hasn’t got any maximum latency numbers around PSC replication.

We have based a design around Enhanced Linked Mode with our upgrade to vsphere 6 around the globe, if latency is an issue we need to change everything.

 

Continue Reading

My Lab – Hardware

The Kit I use for my Lab:

PHYSICAL SERVER:

HP Proliant DL360 G7

DL360-G7

Specs:

CPU Cores: 12 CPUs x 2.666 GHz

Processor Type: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5650 @2.67GHz

Processor Sockets: 2

Cores per Socket: 6

Logical Processors: 24

Hyperthreading: Active

Number of NICs: 4

Memory: 288GB (16x16384MB @1333MHz

SWITCH:

Cisco Catalyst 3750E-48 2x10GE

 

ws-c3750e-48pd-ef

 

 

 

 

 

HOME ROUTER:

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750

 

348351-tp-link-archer-c7-ac1750-dual-band-wireless-ac-gigabit-router

 

POWERLINE:

TP-LINK AV1200 Gigabit Passthrough

tp-link-1200AV

 

 

 

Continue Reading