In my previous post vSphere 6-Introduction we discussed a little bit about vSphere 6 and looked on what new features have been added in vSphere 6 along with change in configuration maximums. We also had a look on change in vCenter Server architecture and improvements in VMware Web-Client.
In this post we will have a look on the pieces which are required to build a vSphere 6 lab. With this let’s get started.
I have a Dell M4800 Mobile workstation laptop with 32 GB of RAM and i7 Quad Core processor. I am running all the lab components inside VMware Workstation.
My Lab Components
- I installed Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition as my base OS. This machine will act as my Domain Controller as well as DNS Server (AD Integrated DNS).
- I have another Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition installed in VMware Workstation. This VM is acting as vCenter Server with Embedded vPostgres Database. This VM has 2 vCPU, 8 GB of RAM and 50 GB hard disk.
- I installed openfiler version 2.99 as virtual machine. The resources allocated to this VM are 2 vCPU and 3 GB RAM. Also I have added 2 additional disks which are presented as iSCSI LUN’s to my ESXi Hosts.
- I have 3 ESXi host installed inside VMware Workstation each with 8 GB RAM and 2 vCPU
I have my DNS Server configured at very first place before start building any component in my Home Lab. My DNS server (AD included) is running on Server 2012 datacenter edition. I have configured my domain as “alex.local” and created both forward and reverse lookup zone in my DNS.
Also I tested name resolution using nslookup and it went fine without any issues:
Active Directory Configuration
I am using dedicated user accounts for my lab. I have created following user accounts created in my AD
1: svcadhelper: This account will be used by ESXi hosts and other vSphere components to authenticate themselves against AD
2: vcadmin: Service Account for vCenter Server. This account has been added to administrators group.
3: alexhunt: This account has Domain Admin privileges and will be used for doing all administration and configuration things in lab.
4: svcsql: This account will be used by vCenter Server to connect to database
A: 3 Esxi hosts running version 6.0. Each host having 8 GB RAM and 2 vCPU. Also each Esxi host is equipped with 2 NICS and both of them connected to different VMNet adapters having different IP address range.
B: vCenter Server version 6.0 installed on Server 2012 R2 with embedded vPostgres database and PSC + vCenter installed on same machine.
vCenter Server Configuration:
1: Datacenter created and cluster configured. HA and DRS is enabled on the cluster and all my 3 Esxi hosts are added to this cluster. DRS is in fully automated mode.
2: All Esxi hosts are mounting the 2 LUN’s which I created on openfiler. I am using iSCSI software adapter to connect to my storage.
3: I have vDS created and port-groups configured. There are 3 port-groups which I created on my vDS: Lab-Mgmt, VM_NW and vMotion_NW. Pretty clear from name what is the purpose of these port-groups.
VMware Workstation Network Configuration
In VMware Workstation I have 2 different network configured:
NAT: VMNet8 is using NAT IP addressing scheme and is on 192.168.0.x Subnet. All my Esxi host Management IP, DNS Server IP, Openfiler IP and vCenter Server IP is on this subnet.
Host-Only: VMNet1 is using Host-Only IP addressing scheme and is on 172.18.0.x Subnet. This network is used for vMotion Network on my Esxi host.
Hostname and IP address scheme:
The below table list the hostname and ip address of all the components of my Lab. Definitely table will be expanded as I create more VM and other related stuffs
I hope this post will be helpful for you to build your lab environment. Your environment might contain different version of softwares and may be a different software all together but intention of this post was to give an overview of how a lab can be setup.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this on social media if it is worth sharing. Be sociable 🙂