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


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 1
Vmware_Mgmnt 102
Vmware_vMotion 103
Windows_Srvr 104
Linux_Srvr 105
Desktop 106
VSAN 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).

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