YAY! I have a working home lab

excited2-smIt’s really cool to have this lab setup at home. I ended up doing a traditional install (DVD) of ESXi on each of the MacMinis. Trying to create bootable USBs didn’t seem to work. What’s even better is that the KVM worked like a charm, even during install. This means that if I decide to get a 3rd MacMini for my own nefarious purposes (rather than as an ESXi system) it can be added and I can use that. The actual install, once I had installable media, was very easy. A lot of thanks goes to William Lam and his blog entry at Virtually Ghetto that has a pre-created ESXi 5.1 with the necessary MacMini drivers.

With both installed, I won’t need the monitor on and could remotely manage the environment if I wanted. Now the goal is to get an Active Directory environment installed and running along with vCenter. I can then continue onwards with a Horizon View install and other fun stuff I want to play with. The NFS appliance is proving more than adequate thus far since I won’t have a lot of VMs created. I may even give a try to Mirage against my significant other’s Windows 8 system. Now that I think of it, I almost think we’d have a huge industry/market for IT folks who have to deal with their non-IT spouses, kids, family, etc. Mirage could be the ultimate way to avoid the headaches of home IT management. It might even rival that of the Enterprise market.

That said, like any other environment I still need to plan out my home lab so that I have all the pieces. This will mean an AD, DNS and DHCP servers at the minimum (all those pieces can be housed on one server). For my Horizon View, I’ll need to set up two Connection servers and one Security server. At this point, I won’t do a load balancer but it may be something to consider for later. More importantly, I can finally do beta testing of stuff as it gets released.

This will also give me time to fight with things like certificates and be able to test whether stuff I see in our nested environments is accurate or not. Nested environments (where ESXi runs on ESXi, Fusion or Workstation) are great for labs and such but there are some oddities that are brought in by virtue of the nesting (there is a reason why it’s not supported).

Tomorrow I’ll add the next section of the certificates how-to that I started earlier. Meanwhile back to configuring.

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