vSphere 6.0: Lab Setup (Part-3)

In previous posts of this series, I’ve explained about vSphere 6.0 and a brief introduction about virtual infrastructure.  If you have missed last posts, you can find them here.

  1. Introduction to vSphere 6.0
  2. Introduction to Virtual Infrastructure

 In this post, we’ll discuss about how to build a lab, what hardware and software components will be required to setup a lab to hands-on vSphere 6.0.

Hardware Requirements

If you don’t have a proper lab equipment, no worries you can still setup a home-lab to hands-on vSphere 6.0. To setup a lab you will require a PC or laptop with 32GB RAM (recommended), core i7 processor (5th Gen or more preferred), and 1TB hard disk drive. Lab can also be setup with minimum of 16GB RAM. I’m also using a laptop with 16GB RAM, core i7 5th Gen Processor, and 1TB hard drive.

Lab Requirements

Following are the requirements to setup a lab

  1. Win 8.1 or above with above mentioned specs and VMware Workstation 12 installed as a base machine.
  2. Server 2012 R2 Standard as a Domain Controller and DNS Server installed in VMware Workstation.
  3. Another Server 2012 R2 Standard as a vCenter Server with Embedded vPostgres Database.
  4. Two additional disks (or drives of 100GB or more) which are presented as iSCSI LUN’s to my ESXi Hosts.
  5. Three ESXi host installed inside VMware Workstation each with 8 GB RAM and 2 vCPU if you have 32GB RAM, and if you have 16GB RAM available, then you can add 2 ESXi hosts with 4GB RAM each.

Active Directory and DNS Configuration

Before start building a home-lab, DNS configuration is required. In my lab environment, I’m going to run Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition, and my Domain is configured as “vcp.com” and both forward and reverse lookup zones are configured in DNS. You can see in following figures.

Figure 1: Forward Lookup Zone

Figure 2: Reverse Lookup Zone

Make sure that your name resolution is working properly (test your environment with nslookup command via CLI interface).

VMware Workstation Configuration

In my lab environment, I’m using VMware Workstation 12 Pro, and following table represents the network configuration for whole lab environment.

In above table, VMnet0 will be used as Management network with network type as Bridged and subent, and rest of the virtual network adapters will be used as Host-only for connecting VMs internally in a private network. VMnet1 will be used for Storage capabilities such as iSCSI along with subnet. VMnet2 will be used for vMotion feature with subnet. VMnet3 and VMnet4 will be used for connecting VMs.

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