It is possible to learn especially about VMware products using just books, official trainings, blogs, etc. However, we believe that the real knowledge is available only by practice and not all could be tested or verified using production environments 🙂
And again, you can test a lot just using Workstation on your notebook (providing it is powerful enough) but these days there are more and more virtual infrastructure component which requires a lot of resources. Furthermore, having real servers and storage array is also a little bit different than deploying a few small virtual machines running on a notebook.
That is why a few years ago we decided to join forces and build the real laboratory where we are able to test even the most sophisticated deployments not only with VMware products without being constraint by the resources.
The main hardware components of our lab infrastructure are included in the table below.
|ServerFujitsu TX200 S7||2||2x CPU E5-4220, 128 GB RAM||Payload Cluster|
|Server Fujitsu TX100 S1||2||Router/Firewall and Backup|
|Server Fujitsu TX100 S3||3||1x CPU E3-1240, 32 GB RAM||Management Cluster|
|NAS Synology DS2413+||1||12 x 1 TB SATA 7,2K||Gold Storage|
|NAS Synology RS3617+||1||12 x 600 GB SAS 15K||Silver Storage|
|NAS QNAP T410||1||4 x 1TB SATA 5,4K||Bronze Storage (ISO)|
|Switch HPE 1910||1||48x 1 Gbps||Connectivity|
Of course we didn’t buy it at once. The environment evaluates with increasing needs. ( In the near future we are going to expand management cluster with 4 host and deploy NSX).
The logical topology looks like this:
Despite the fact that most of our servers use tower cases, we installed them in a self made 42U Rack. Unfortunatelly, especially during the summer it could not go without air conditoning (this is one of the most power consuming part of the lab..)