Home Lab

The Home Lab is fundamental to learning and tossing around ideas.  It is amazing how many of the same issues you can learn to solve in a small home network/virtualization environment that translates to large enterprise production environments.  The following details are constantly changing as the lab grows and morphs into what I need it to be at the time.

Home Lab VMs Running

My Home Lab Virtual environment tends to be fairly volatile as I am continually spinning up new VMs/appliances and tearing them down.  However, there are a few VMs I have up and running that are more mainstays in my environment.

vSphere Specific

  • vSphere Data Protection
  • vCenter 6.5
  • vSphere Replication Appliance

Linux VMs

  • Arpwatch – running on Ubuntu 14.04 with arpwatch modules installed
  • Dell Virtual Storage Manager
  • Generic Ubuntu webserver – running to test various version of web technology, PHP code, etc
  • vSphere Data Protection
  • Cisco UCS simulator
  • Various Firewall VMs for testing:
    • Untangle 12
    • Sophos XG Firewall
    • Pfsense
  • VM Turbo appliance
  • HP_VSR1000

Windows VMs

  • Windows Domain environment
    • Domain controller
    • DNS
    • Network Policy Server/RADIUS
    • PRTG Monitoring software
    • Windows 2012 R2 services box with various network services, etc
  • Various test clients:
    • Windows 10
    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 7

Home Lab Networking

  • Meraki MX-64 – Firewall router
  • Whitebox network appliance – running Intel Atom D2550 dual core (retired for now)
  • mikrotik rb951g-2hnd – wireless – private and public SSIDs
  • Netgear wireless AP (retired)
  • Cisco SG300-20 – serves as core switch
  • Meraki MS220-8P – serves as IDF network switch

Home Lab Hardware

Stationary Lab

  • Dell Precision Workstation T7400 – 32 gigs of RAM, (2) Xeon 5450 procs @ 3.0GHz
    • This was at one point a VMware host, however, it currently is loaded with Windows Server 2016 at the moment, running various backup software solutions and other Windows based services
  • Mini Tower Intel Xeon processor D-1541 8-Core, SoC:
    • 1x Intel Xeon processor D-1541, 2.10GHz CPU, 2.7GHz turbo speed
    • 64GB DDR4 2400MHz RDIMM ECC Memory
    • 1 Samsung 960 EVO 1TB NVMe M.2 drive

Mobile/Auxilliary Lab

I have a Dell precision Workstation laptop with Core i7 and 32gigs of RAM.  With the laptop, I am running VMware Workstation 12 Pro with nested ESXi installs running.

The nested ESXi installation is configured as follows:

  • (2) hosts running ESXi 6 update 2
    • 5.5 gigs of memory for each
  • (1) vCenter 6 VCSA appliance
    • Thin provisioned
    • 4 gigs of RAM
  • (1) FreeNAS VM
    • Storage provisioned as iSCSI targets
  • (1) Ubuntu Server installation
    • Running BIND for lightweight DNS resolution

Windows VMs on the laptop

  • (2) Windows 10 VMs
  • (2) Windows 8.1 VMs
  • (1) Cisco VIRL
  • (1) Xenserver install