Home Lab Hardware

vSphere 5 is almost GA and View 5 Beta is already in the hands of approved clients.  XenServer 6 beta is out.  It’s time for me to update the home lab.  Obligatory link to ESX Whitebox HCL!

My ASUS motherboards have onboard Realtek 8111E Gigabit adapters which ESX 4.1 U1 does not support. HOWEVER, much to my surprise ESX5 DOES see my Realtek adapters!!!  This makes it kinda depressing when going back to 4.1 U1.

I have the typical 3 box scenario.  2 x ESX hosts and 1 x NAS.

I boot from 2GB USB flash drives since like most people I have several laying around from every vendor and partner imaginable.  I’m able to swap from ESX5 to 4.1U1, and back, very quickly.

I’ve repurposed as much existing hardware components as possible.  An HP xw4300 workstation as my NAS.  I’m using NFS for the VM’s and ISO’s.  Also I had as my primary workstation a very swift AMD Athlon 7750 x2 with 8GB of DDR2-667 RAM which holds it own against the new AMD PhenomII x6 system.

ESX01 Host (AMD 6 core, 16GB RAM, 3 x GigE NIC’s, 1 x 80GB SATAII)

ESX02 Host (Repurposed AMD 2 core, 8GB RAM, 3 x GigE NIC’s, 1 x 500GB SATAII)

NAS Host (Repurposed HP xw4300, 4GB RAM, 2 x GigE NIC’s, 2 x 500GB SATAII Software RAID1, 1 x 64GB SATAIII SSD)

Switch (8port, Gigabit, VLAN capable)

1 x NETGEAR ProSafe GS108T-200NAS Gigabit Smart Switch 10/100/1000Mbps 8 x RJ45

How did I connect all this equipment together?  Did it actually work?  Is it even functional?  All these answers and more when I get time to post Home Lab Configuration and Testing.  Hint:  With much cursing, yes, and yes.

CCA for XenDesktop 5

I don’t put a lot of stock in certifications but the people who enable me to pay my mortgage certainly do.  That’s why I’m happy to announce my first (of many) Citrix certifications.

Took the class CXD-202-1 http://www.citrixtraining.com/courses/course_view.cfm/course_id:349/cgroup_id:

Studied the A19 prep guide from Citrix http://www.citrixtraining.com/uploadfiles/1/courses/A19%20Preparation%20Guide2.pdf

Read this guys blog http://citrixxperience.com/2011/05/10/1y0-a19-citrix-xendesktop-5-study-guide/

Then I passed the 1Y0-A19 exam.  52 questions 75 minutes.  I zipped through it in 30mins no problem.

Now it’s SUPER helpful that I’ve done almost a dozen XenDesktop 5 POC’s as well as 2 production environments with 800+ users.  I can say with that much hands on experience I was second guessing several of the question/answer scenarios.

Next up is my CCA for XenServer 5…