Testlab: Getting Started

I’ve been meaning to blog about creating a test/training environment for a while and as I’m in the process of rebuilding one, now’s a good a time as ever. I’m going to demonstrate how to cheaply and quickly knock up a fully functional domain environment using a combination of VMware Templates and MDT media.

I ordered this baby earlier this week – HP ProLiant Turion II N40L MicroServer from ebuyer.com. It cost me £260 plus £100 cashback from HP. Seemed like a good investment as I’m planning to do more virtualisation training this year. I’ll need to up the ram (8GB) and stick in an extra hard drive but that wont cost much. Also, a second network card will be needed. There’s a great video review here.

Incidently, yes I could fork out for real server like a G7 but I dont really fancy turning my home into a datacentre, those days are gone. Plus I may get another for testing Hyper-V clustering etc. This may become a NAS or home server at some point. It’s also not as powerful as my laptop or desktops but it is actual server hardware(whatever that’s worth).

Right, I’ve downloaded ESXi 5.0 as an iso. It’s a free download from here, and comes down very quick. Also, because I didn’t fancy burning a DVD I installed it onto a 2Gb usb drive using VMware player. It gave me a few nags but after I bumped the guest memory to 2 Gig and added a 2nd cpu it gave in.

Next, I’m gonna power up and run ESXi 5 booting from to the USB drive. I intend to install a few 2008 guests and see what performance I get out of it.

About Andrew Barnes

A Scripting and Deployment Specialist.
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2 Responses to Testlab: Getting Started

  1. Squeezer says:

    Sounds like a pretty cool set up. A year ago I built an AMD quad core system with 6TB of hard drives for a VM testbed. I’m running Proxmox on it instead of VMWare, however. I’m not sure if VMWare supports “dummy” ethernet adapters, I will have to google that.


  2. Tigers says:

    Looking forward to the rest of the Testlab Section. I’m curious to know how it performed? any updates? 🙂


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