Wednesday 29 February 2012

North East VM User Group

The next North East VMware User Group has been announced.  It’s at Ramside Hall Hotel near Durham on Tuesday 27th March from 16:00 to 17:30.  The agenda is as follows:
  • Official VMUG - An overview by Matthew Steiner of VMware
  • Site Recovery Manager and VDR
  • Group discussion
  • Formation of a steering group
To register and find out more info see

Home Lab Update

   It’s been a while since my last post so what better what to start that with a home lab update.  My previous home lab was an HP Proliant DL380.  This did serve it’s purpose but due to it being a power hungry beast and the fact it sounded like a jet engine it was just impractical to run 24 x 7.  I wanted a lab that could run a DC, SQL, vCenter 5 and a Windows 7 machine for remote access.  It would also be nice to have a bit of spare capacity for trialling other VM / software but primarily this was to learn vSphere 5 to prepare for both VCP5 and both VCAP’s once released (I passed VCP5 about 2 months ago).

   So, after reviewing what was out there I decided on the HP Microserver due to cost (HP are currently offering £100 cash back) and power consumption.  Simon Seagrave has an excellent review of the HP Microserver here  I purchased the following:

3 x HP Microserver N36L
3 x HP V165 8GB USB Flash Drive
3 x Intel PRO/1000 CT Desktop Adaptor PCI Express
6 x Kingston Value RAM memory - 4 GB - DIMM 240-pin – DDR3

   The idea was to have two ESXi5 hosts and one SAN (OpenFiler).  Since HP still had the £100 cash back offer on I decided to purchase another Microserver, this time a N40L which came with 2 GB ram instead of 1.  All 4 servers came with 250gb 7.2k disks which I inserted into the N40L and installed OpenFiler and created 2 iSCSI LUNS and NFS shares.  Since I now have 3 ESXi5 hosts I use two for the general day to day operations and also use the 3rd for testing auto deploy.  I purchased a cheap Net Gear gigabit switch (unmanaged) and hooked it all up.  I have ESXi5 running of USB connected to the OpenFiler SAN.