Home lab expansion

For a while now I’ve been hitting the capacity limit of the single server in my home lab. This is the nature of running a lot of VMware’s more recent products on it. The plan had been to get another server, shared storage and a larger switch. This week I was able to bring it all together. There were some problems.

What I already had

The original setup I had included the following items:

  • 1 Dell R710 with a Samsung 970 Evo Plus M.2 SSD (in a M.2 to PCIe adapter), a 128GB SATA SDD and a 1TB SATA SSD
  • 1 5-port Gigabit switch
  • 1 5-outlet power board

The Second Server

For the second server, I tried to get something that was as close to my current one as possible. This meant another Dell R710 with a similar model of CPU and about 128GB of RAM. Fortunately I was able to easily find one for sale on ebay. It came with 4 x 300GB SAS drives. I ended up moving 2 of these to the original server and creating a RAID 1 on each server.

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Want hands on with Virtual Volumes? EMC has a Virtual Appliance for that

Virtual Volumes (VVols) is a new method of managing storage introduced in VMware vSphere 6.0.  Unlike many of the new features in vSphere 6.0, VVols requires not just vSphere 6.0 to work, but a storage device that supports the technology.  Fortunately, EMC have produced a virtual appliance that emulates a storage device with VVol support, so you can get some practical exposure to Virtual Volumes without needing a shiny new storage array.  Download and documetation can be found at http://www.emc.com/products-solutions/trial-software-download/vvols.htm  The process for getting Virtual Volumes completely working is rather long, as the flow chart from EMC’s documentation below shows:

Virtual Volumes Workflow
Virtual Volumes Workflow

I’ll run through the steps in getting the Appliance and Virtual Volumes working on a vSphere installation.

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