My VMware Home Lab Exposure

A few months ago I was approached to write an article about my VMware home lab that I recently built.  Since I had already been halfway through writing it up for my own blog I took the opportunity to get some exposure for my site and myself.  Well a few weeks ago, my article was published on TechGenix.  What a great way to get my blog and name out there.  For those that don’t know the whole lab story, here’s some quick details.

The Story

I started with 1 Intel NUC and planned to run nested hosts inside a single vCenter.  After doing some research about how others did it, it didn’t seem practical for what I wanted to do. Everything I had been reading showed that after getting the 3 hosts up, you were basically out of resources.  So I bit the bullet and purchased 2 more NUCs, all the exact same specs.  This allowed me to load each with 32GB of RAM, a single NVMe drive (vSAN Caching) and a single SSD (vSAN Capacity).  This gave me plenty of room to run some test VMs for Windows/Linux/Appliances.  So far I’ve been able to test deploy Log Insight, vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations, and plenty of Domain Controllers and Windows Core Servers.  If you’re looking to not spend a ton of money, but get a lab up and running with a fairly small investment, then I would highly suggest a 3 NUC cluster.  And since the 7th gen NUCs have been out for a bit, I’m sure you can find plenty of sales on 6th gen NUCs (or just find someone upgrading their lab).

The Article

A link to the article on TechGenix can be found here: Get your Geek On: Building a VMware Home Lab

SuperMicro vs Intel NUC

The debate between Homelaber’s recently has been SuperMicro vs Intel NUC.  Both have pros and cons attached with them.  I personally went with the Intel NUC for my homelab creating a single node vSAN.  The article below gives a great run down of both systems for the homelab.

SuperMicro vs Intel NUC

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to William Lam (http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/) and Alan Renouf (http://www.virtu-al.net/) about their exciting USB to SDDC demonstration, they were using an Intel NUC to deploy a VMware SDDC environment to a single node using VSAN. I offered them the opportunity to test out the same capability with one of my SuperMicro E200-8D servers and they took me up on the opportunity. Since then I have been approached by a number of people with requests for information about why I chose to go with the SuperMicro E200 for my home lab over the Intel NUC. I’ve never written a blog before but I thought this might be a good way to “cut out the middle man” so to speak. So here it goes, my reasons for why I chose the…Read More


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