Category: Virtualization

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Hi all!

This post will be about the current state (05/20/2020 06/04/2020) of my home lab. Please keep in mind that I also have two ESXi hosts that I rent from a datacenter in Germany that I partially use for my home lab (though they are nowhere near as powerful as my home server).

Here are some pictures:

The black device on the wall is my ISP’s modem. It’s set to bridge mode, meaning it does not do any NAT, DHCP, etc. That routes to my EdgeRouter (which you can see on the edge of the plank in the first picture). This is the main router. It runs DHCP, does NAT, runs a BGP daemon and I have a VLAN on there for NSX-T.

The host you see here, is my HP Proliant DL380G6. It has two Intel Xeon X5660s (6 cores/12 threads at 2.8 GHz), and 288 GB of DDR3 ECC memory at 1333 MHz. I have six drives in it as you can see, they are connected with two SAS cables to an extra RAID card I have in the server, a Smart Array P420. I have two 2TB HDDs in it, a 320GB HDD, two 500GB SSDs and (now, with the update) two 1TB SSDs. Sadly on June 2nd 2020 my P420 controller died, more info here, so right now I use the build-in Smart Array P410i. The colorful cables all go up through the ceiling, into my bedroom’s floor, to a network switch as you can see down here:

Here you can see my Raspberry Pi collection,stacked on my Humax decoder. The black switch at the bottom is my 24 port non-PoE EdgeSwitch 24 Lite. It’s currently full. Stacked on top I have my older TP-Link TL-SG2216. Currently it’s not in use… yet.
Laying on that switch in a UniFi UAP-AC-PRO (more on that later). On the blue box I have a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GB. I use this as a test machine sometimes. On the upper plank I have a Unifi Security Gateway for the WiFi and Guest network.
Next to that is a Unifi 8 port 60W PoE switch. Connected to that is the UAP-AC-PRO you see in the picture, and there’s one downstairs as well. Next to that is a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B I believe, connected to a ADS-B receiver dongle with matching antenna next to the RPi.
There used to a second RPi to the right of it, but it’s on my project table at the moment. That used to be connected with a SDR dongle, and has its antenna on the plank below, on the right side against the wall. That’s my indoor antenna I use to listen in on the airbands (which in The Netherlands is legal at the time of writing).

That’s the current state of my homelab right now. Hopefully it gives you an idea on what I run right now. It’s not done yet… I possibly need to update in a few years as officially, my CPUs don’t support ESXi 7.

I also want to go10 gigabit at some point, but that’s all years away most likely.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Hi readers,

Currently, I temporarily have access to a server with enough memory to run a Cloud Foundation lab until January 2nd 2020.

This gave me the inspiration to build a Cloud Foundation lab and tinker around with it, along with tinkering with an automatic lab deployment script called VLC (VCF Lab Constructor). This is a Powershell program designed to make it easy to deploy a nested (means: running Virtual Machines within Virtual Machines.) Cloud Foundation lab. This is not supported by anyone other than some communities, but it seems to work great for others so I wanted to give it a try.

Part one will be about the deployment using the script and what Cloud Foundation is exactly. So stay tuned!

There will be two more posts this year. A Christmas and New Year message, and in 2020 hopefully my AWS YouTube series, VMware Cloud Foundation, my move back to NSX-T and more!

Merry Christmas everyone and see you soon!

Hello readers,

Welcome to my new blog post, in this post I’ll be sharing some ideas that I had.

For the past few weeks I have been thinking of creating posts about setting up a nested ESXi lab with NSX and vSAN. I thought to myself: “Why not make both a blog post and a YouTube tutorial?”. Which is exactly what I will be doing, once my new microphone arrives, is all set up and when it works.

Not only have I been thinking of that, but I’ve also managed to free up some space on my server to run these labs:

With ~60GB of memory left I can run some things at the same time. Right now I have an Exchange Server VM that I use for testing, a Sharepoint Server 2019 VM that I use for testing too, and a Hyper-V VM that I use to explore the Windows and Office Deployment Lab Kit (post of that coming in the future).

Now, I don’t have any of them turned on when I made that screenshot, because I don’t need to. If I don’t use a lab, I power it down so I can start up other labs. Of course, with a lab that would take hours to start, maybe wouldn’t do that. But those labs (Like Azure Stack Development Kit), won’t fit on my server anyway.

This was the update, thank you for reading and have a nice day!

Hi readers,

This short post will be about how I had to set-up a static route on ESXi to my VPN subnet.

My setup is as follows: I have an ESXi server in DC1, and a ESXi server at home. The Home ESXi server has vCenter and vRealize Operations Manager on it. My goal was to have vRealize Operations Manager give rightsize advise on VMs on both my home server and the server in DC1. For this to work, I need to add my DC1 server to my vCenter server. I created a datacenter for it in vCenter, and I created a vmkernel adapter on the LAN network of the DC1 server. There is an IPSec VPN that links the remote network and my local network.

vCenter could talk to the ESXi server, but the ESXi server did not know how to talk back. The solution was to create a static route. I simply ran this command on the DC1 server (I enabled SSH and use that to execute the command):

esxcfg-route -a 192.168.254.0/24 172.16.100.1

And that was it! It started to work. In a future series, I will be explaining how to setup vRealize Operations Manager.

For now though, I’m still playing around with it.

Thank you for reading this post.

My server

June 22, 2019 | Networking, Virtualization, VMware | No Comments

Hi readers!
Welcome to my first real blog post! In this post, I will be explaining my current server, my trusty HP ProLiant DL380G6.

It’s armed with two Intel Xeon X5650s, which each have 6 core and 12 threads, making it a total of 12 cores and 24 threads. It has 144 GB (18x 8GB) of ECC RAM, and it currently have two 500GB SSDs, along with a single 320GB HDD.
Here is a picture:

Not the sharpest picture, because it was made from quite a distance with my Galaxy J7.

It runs VMware ESXi 6.7 on it, along with a vCenter Server Appliance and NSX. Here is a screenshot of the VM view in vCenter:

I run my firewall on it, which is OPNSense. I previously used pfSense, however it was being buggy with my BGP tunnel for IPv6 (more about that in this post.)

Other than that, I run WDS and MDT on it, so I can easily install Windows over the network. I have my GNS3 VM on it, so I can have it running 24/7 and can access it from anywhere, I use it to learn networking. (More about that in this post.)

I have a Discord Bash bot VM on it, it’s just a python bot that I’m making, to leanr python. Next to that I have a Linux and Windows Workstation VM, that I can login to when I’m not home. ix90 is a bit of a weird project that I’m going into more detail off here.

Everything connects to an Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 24 Lite. My parents their network runs on a UniFi Security Gateway and a UniFi 8 port POE switch. The EdgeRouter X is just there for me so I can test things with it. Here are some pictures:

That’s a quick overview of my basic networking setup, this post will later be updated with everything about NSX when I have that working.