VMware vSphere Lab: Virtual Edition – Part 2

This is the second post in a series outlining how to set up your own little virtualized Virtual vSphere Lab, if you missed the first one be sure to check it out!

The first step in setting up the The Virtual vSphere Lab, is making sure you have everything you need. To get everything up and running, you’ll need the following:

  1. VMware Workstation 7.x downloaded and installed.
    A 30 day trial version download is available at vmware.com (registration required)
  2. Installation files for VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)
    You can download it directly from vmware.com (registration required)
    Download the ESXi 4.1 Installable (CD ISO) (current version as of writing) and store it locally.
  3. VMware vCenter Server 4.1 and modules
    Download from vmware.com (registration required)

  4. Windows Server 2008 R2 installable media.
    You can download a evaluation 180 day version from microsoft.com.
    Be sure to download the 64-bit compilation edition ISO file and store it locally.
  5. Shared storage solution
    There are a number of options available to you, but the most common ones are probably
    Openfiler free and offers both iSCSI and NFS connectivity
    FreeNAS free and offers both iSCSI and NFS connectivity
    StorMagic SvSAN offers up to 2 TB of iSCSI storage in the free version, and plugs directly into vCenter.
    Lefthand VSA the HP StorageWorks P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance comes as a 60 day free trial offers both iSCSi and NFS.
    Celerra UBER v3.2 comes as either a VMware Workstation or vSphere version, preconfigured as a virtual machine.

This virtualized version of the EMC Celerra, built by Nick Weaver (@lynxbat) is my choice for this series of posts. Mostly because I’ve played with most of the other options before, but also because the newest EMC Celerra offerings looks really interesting and I want to become acquainted with the management of it.

So, get your downloads on and be ready to follow part 3 where I’ll walk you through the initial setup and configuration of your own Virtual vSphere Lab.

9 thoughts on “VMware vSphere Lab: Virtual Edition – Part 2

  1. For iSCSI I would recommend not using OpenFiler nor anything running IET (iSCSI Enterprise Target). It is known to be unstable with VMware ESX(i). There is a KB where VMware clearly states it is not supported although there are workarounds for the issues such SCSI reservation, still it is not stable…

    On the opposite, Lefthand and Celerra VSA are rock solid!

    Cheers,
    Didier

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