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Home lab hardware for CCIE lab

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Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 419
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I had a question on a YouTube video on home lab hardware for a CCIE lab. Creating a forum topic here for discussion.

 
Posted : 26/12/2023 3:28 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 419
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Topic starter
 

I am thinking that CCIE candidates and students would want to run GNS3, EVE-NG, or something similar. Let me know if you are a networking student out there who is looking to set up a home lab for this purpose and what tools you are looking to run.

 
Posted : 26/12/2023 4:45 pm
(@tariqops)
Posts: 4
New Member
 

Hello Again 

i am preparing to my CCIE certification and i want setup up home with EVE-en to practice, i saw many mini pc but im not know how’s efficiency , and there is attached, what you thinking about it, or if you another option 

Thanks

 
Posted : 27/12/2023 5:38 am
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 419
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@tariqops, welcome to the forums! Do you have experience working with a specific hypervisor technology like VMware ESXi or Proxmox? Let me know on that front. Many of the mini PCs have issues with VMware ESXi due to Realtek network adapters. However, there are definitely ones I can recommend to you for either ESXi or Proxmox. It sounds like what you would be wanting in a mini PC would be the following:

  • Power efficiency
  • Virtualization capabilities
  • Resources to run a few VMs

Let me know if you might have other requirements you can think of.

 
Posted : 27/12/2023 7:17 am
(@tariqops)
Posts: 4
New Member
 

Thanks for replying 

I don’t have experience with

Posted by: @brandon-lee

VMware ESXi or Proxmox

Only with VM workstation, However as you mentioned would be mini pc gave me 

Posted by: @brandon-lee

 

  • Power efficiency
  • Virtualization capabilities
  • Resources to run a few VMs

 

To able to run multiple VM with IOS and images and Servers 

 
Posted : 27/12/2023 7:25 am
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 419
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Topic starter
 

@tariqops I think you will see the best resource utilization of your hardware running a full hypervisor like VMware or Proxmox. You might do some research to see if there are any challenges with using Proxmox with GNS3 or EVE-NG as this might make the difference on which direction to go there. 

For running VMware, the GMKtek Nucbox K10 is one of the most efficient and powerful little mini PCs I have tested. It has 16 cores, and you can put 64 GB of RAM in it along with a single NVMe drive. It has a 2.5 GbE adapter. It is currently unavailable on Amazon though.

Amazon.com: GMKtec Mini PC Windows11 Pro, AMD Ryzen 7 5800U(1.9-4.4GHz) Mini Desktop Computers, 16GB DDR4 512GB M.2 2282 PCIe SSD, Micro PC with Dual 4K@60Hz HDMI, WiFi 6E,BT5.2, Type-C for Gaming Business Home : Electronics.

You can see my review of that mini PC here: https://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2023/09/intel-nuc-alternative-gmk-nucbox-k10-ryzen-7-home-server/

Also, the Beelink EQ12 Pro which I thought was a great machine for VMware, it looks to be out of stock there as well but you may find it from another vendor. https://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2023/09/beelink-eq12-pro-cheap-home-server-with-8-cores-and-32-gb-ram/

For Proxmox, I think the Beelink SER5 with the 5700U processor is a great little mini PC. It is efficient and has 16 cores also. 

Amazon.com: Beelink Mini PC, AMD Ryzen 7 5700U (up to 4.3GHz), 16GB DDR4 RAM 500GB PCIe3.0 SSD, SER5 Pro Mini Desktop Computer Support 4K@60Hz Triple Display/WiFi 6/BT5.2/USB3.2/Gaming/Office/Home : Electronics

You can see my review here: https://www.virtualizationhowto.com/2023/09/beelink-ser5-mini-pc-amd-ryzen-7-home-server/

Hopefully, this will give you a few options to look at and think about for VMware or Proxmox.

 
Posted : 27/12/2023 9:10 pm
(@tariqops)
Posts: 4
New Member
 

Thanks for replying 

 

i will research about 

May i ask that mini pc attached Intel i913000h 

64 RAM ddr5 

What do think ?

Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out! SAR1,464.68 46% Off | Chatreey IT12 Mini PC Intel Core i7 1270P i9 13900H Gaming Desktop Computer 2x2.5G Ethernet PCIe 4.0 Wifi 6 Thunderbolt 4 https://a.aliexpress.com/_oDRTJjA

 
Posted : 28/12/2023 5:34 am
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 419
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Topic starter
 

@tariqops This looks like really great hardware. Keep in mind though the i9 will not be very power efficient. However, you may not be wanting to run a lab 24x7 and only spin it up when needed. Also, I didn't see whether the LAN adapters are Realtek or Intel based. If Intel it should be able to run VMware vSphere. If Realtek you can run Proxmox. Another option for your lab is to run something like VMware Workstation on top of Windows and have virtual machines running there if you want to make this a multi-purpose box and not a dedicated server.

 
Posted : 28/12/2023 7:21 am
(@tariqops)
Posts: 4
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(@malcolm-r)
Posts: 58
Trusted Member
 

@tariqops that server is going to be hot, loud, and power-hungry. i would definitely choose a mini-PC over that. the CPU is nearly 10 years old, and the only way to have NVMe is to buy an add-in card.

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 2:49 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 419
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Topic starter
 

@tariqops definitely agree with @malcolm-r. I would go for a mini PC today if I were starting off building a little lab to run some virtualized resources, including VMs and containers. I think the other option you posted above (the mini PC) would probably work better for what you would want to do.

 
Posted : 02/01/2024 3:02 pm