Homelab the current state

It’s time for a new update about my new Homelab. In the past I was running HP Microserver 2x N40L and 1x Gen8. All these machines are still here but no longer in use and will be for sale soon. My new Homelab contains now 2x HP ML10v2, 1x Zyxel 16 Gbit Switch, 1x Lenovo ix4-300d storage.

2x Server HP ML10 v2: HP ProLiant ML10 v2 G3240-Server (nicht Hot-Plug-fähig, 4 GB-U, B120i, 4 LFF, 350-W-Netzteil)
2x SSD adapter per Server: Kingston SNA-DC2/35 SATA DriveCarrier Einbaurahmen für 6,4 cm (2,5 Zoll) bis 8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll) schwarz
Memory: Samsung 8GB (1x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800E) 2Rx8 ECC Unbuffered Dimm Server Workstation Arbeitsspeicher RAM Memory
1x Zyxel 16 Port Gbit Switch: Zyxel GS1100-16-EU0101F Gigabit Switch (16-Port, RJ-45)
1x Lenovo ix4-300d Storage: Lenovo Iomega ix4-300d Network Storage (0TB Diskless EMEA, Marvell Armada TM XP, 1,3GHz, 4x HDD, 512MB RAM)
2x HP Quad Network adapter: HP 538696-B21 PCI-e Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter
2x Intel SSD 240GB: Intel SSDSC2BW240H601 interner Solid State Drive 240GB schwarz
4x WD RED 2TB: WD 2TB Red interne NAS-Festplatte (8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll), 5400rpm, SATA III) WD20EFRX

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I have installed vSphere 6 on my servers. The Lenovo storage is providing 2 iSCSI targets to fulfil the requirement of 2 shared datastores for HA. Both datastores are part of an SDRS cluster. Besides this I have created a cluster which has HA and DRS enabled. On the network side I have created 3 standard vSwitches each with 2 Gbit network adapters. vSwitch0 is for the virtual machine traffic. vSwitch1 is for iSCSI and vSwitch2 is for VMotion. Yes I know thats a bit the old school way of networking but hey thats only my Homelab so a dvSwitch with Network IO control should not be required. A simple setup is sufficient for Homelab use. Maybe in the future I’m going to change it but that will have to wait until the next vSphere release.

So whats next?

Next will be to setup vRealize Operations Manager 6.3 to improve my troubleshooting knowledge of this product. Additionally I have an idea about how to simplify the troubleshooting and improve the supportability of the product. But this is a different topic. Today I’m going to install the lastest ESXi patches and check for upgrades of my vCenter appliance.

More to come …

Virtual appliances

I tried a lot of “appliance” but the most of them are not appliance. Always the same stuff, they virtualize a server and call it virtual appliance. There is no menu to configure the network and so on. Just an virtual machine with an full OS and an application.
A real virtual appliance has an OS called JeOS (Just enough operating system). There are some JeOS available, for example Ubuntu JeOS or Suse Enterprise JeOS. Next point is an console menu to be able to configure the network in an easy way. The last feature would be an web interface which provides functionalities to start/stop, backup, update processes and the whole appliance.

A very good example for real virtual appliances is Turnkeylinux. The have a lot of different appliances in there portfolio and the best is that they are free.

If you have experiences with virtual appliances like Turnkeylinux, please do not hesitate to write some words as comment.

Thanks

OpenSource RedHat Satellite Server – Spacewalk

I found this software during my search for a management solution for a virtual appliance farm running hundreds of CentOS based virtual machines. As CentOS is binary compatible to RedHat it makes sense to use a RedHat satellite server equivalent for software management.

Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution. It is the upstream community project from which the Red Hat Network Satellite product is derived.

What Can Spacewalk Do?

Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution that allows you to:

* Inventory your systems (hardware and software information)
* Install and update software on your systems
* Collect and distribute your custom software packages into manageable groups
* Provision (kickstart) your systems
* Manage and deploy configuration files to your systems
* Monitor your systems
* Provision and start/stop/configure virtual guests
* Distribute content across multiple geographical sites in an efficient manner.

Link to Spacewalk

Update about Proxmox

My HP Dl115 G5 is now running Proxmox VE. My first impression is that this is a quite good virtualisation plattform. I have created some virtual machines (OpenVZ using the templates and KVM using a Ubuntu 10.04 iso) which was really easy! In the next days I’m going to run some tests with different configurations. In addition with support of colleague we will create a Proxmox cluster using 2 HP ML servers (ML110,ML115) and a shared iSCSI storage.

Setup a Windows XP appliance …

Currently I setup a Windows XP appliance which I would like to use for a new way to manage a VMware ESXi plattform. A colleague had this idea to create an interface to manage ESXi free server’s from any kind of CMS.

Some details:

OS: Windows XP
Software: Apache, PHP, Powershell, VMware PowerCLI, JSON for PHP

more details will follow soon …