Time to replace my Homelab – Part 1

My current homelab contains 2x HP ML10v2, 1x HP Microserver Gen8 and 2 Switches (1 Mikrotik Cloud Switch 24 Port, Zyxcel 16 Port). This setup was sufficient for a long time. But due to the increased resource requirements of some VMware products and my activities with vROPs, Log Insight and other solutions I require more resources. Furthermore I would like to reduce from 3 to 1 server and run more activities virtually based on the lab scripts from William Lam.

Current Setup:

New Setup:

The plan is to extend the machine with 8x 146GB SAS disks and additionally upgrade the memory to 144GB at least. The FC card will be removed as it will not be used in my Homelab.

If someone is interested in buying one or two HP ML10v2 please send my a message.

to be continued ……

vCenter notification send push message using Prowl to iOS devices

I would like to receive push messages for triggered alerts from my vCenter. There is the possibility to execute a command when a alert has been triggered so I decided to write a script which will use Prowl to send push notification to my mobile apple device. I used Prowl already for other devices like my Homematic home automation system. It’s easy to use with an simple curl command. You can find a lot of good examples available by using Google.

Sources and Services:

VMware Documentation

Push notification service

You have to create an account on www.prowlapp.com and generate a new API key. The new API key has to be added to script (replace PLACE_YOUR_API_KEY_HERE with your API key).

Script:

This script is really basic and is only a proof of concept. I will extend and improve it over time.

root@vcenter [ ~ ]# mkdir bin
root@vcenter [ ~ ]# 

Lenovo ix4-300d SSH, root home directory and cronjobs

Couple of weeks ago I got my hands on 3 Lenovo ix4-300d storage boxes. These boxes are no longer produced and sometimes you can get them really cheap. First I had plans to use them as iSCSI storage for my home lab but the performance is not good enough. Therefore I decided to play around with one of the boxes to see what is possible.

I started searching in google about SSH access. Outcome was great blog post which contained a how to enable SSH.

Steven Breuls SSH access ix4-300d

In short just access this page http://[NAS IP]/manage/diagnostics.html and you can enable SSH and set a password for root.

Attention:

Username : root
Password : soho + password (if password = VMware ==sohoVMware )

As soon as you have successfully logged in you can change the password by simply running passwd like on any other linux. Afterwards the soho …

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 …

Alternative Setup of a VMware Homelab

My planed new Homelab requires a lot of space due to the fact of the size of the components. But what if someone would like to have a Homelab but does not have the space in the office. One option would be to run a fully virtualized Homelab but this is limited to the resources of the computer/laptop. A more costly option would be to use multiple INTEL NUC and a storage system.

Shopping list:

2x Intel NUC i5: Intel NUC6i5SYH
2x Samsung 32GB Memory: SAMSUNG 32GB Dual Channel Kit 2 x 16 GB 260 pin DDR4 2133 SO-DIMM (2133Mhz, PC4-17000, CL15) passend für alle Intel “Skylake” Notebooks mit DDR4 Standard
2x Samsung M2 SSD 250GB: Samsung MZ-N5E250BW 850 EVO interne SSD 250GB (SATA) grün
1x QNAP NAS 4 Bay: QNAP TS-453A-8G-NAS 4-Bay Intel Celeron Braswell N
4x WD Red 3TB: WD 3TB Red interne NAS-Festplatte (8,9 cm (3,5 Zoll)

Homelab upgrade and Options to install a SSD into the HP Microserver Gen8

I started to plan the upgrade my current homelab from 1x HP Microserver Gen8, 2x HP Microserver N40L and a Netgear 24 port switch. The only part which I will keep is the HP Microserver Gen8 it has already 16GB of memory and a HP SmartArray P410 with 512MB Cache module incl. battery. This machine will run my infrastructure machines like a tiny vCenter. As work horses I plan to use HP ML10v2 due to the fact that they are cost efficient and they support up to 32GB of memory.

Parts list which I will use in my future homelab:

1x Server HP Microserver Gen8: HP ProLiant MicroServer (Gen8, G1610T, 1P, 4 GB-U, B120i, SATA-Server)
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 SSDs per Server: Mushkin MKNSSDRE1TB Reactor 7mm SSD, 1TB
2x SSD adapter per Server: Kingston SNA-DC2/35

UPDATE: How to update ESXi from online repository

UPDATEHP has changed the URL of their online repository. I have adjusted the post accordingly.

Here is a way how to install patches using esxcli directly on the ESXi host from an online repository

I found a great side about the available patches including commands to install them.

https://esxi-patches.v-front.de/

Example host: HP Microserver Gen8

Get a list of all available updates

esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml

Example output:

[root@micro-gen8:~] esxcli software sources profile list -d https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/PRODUCTION/main/vmw-depot-index.xml
Name                              Vendor        Acceptance Level
--------------------------------  ------------  ----------------
ESXi-5.1.0-20140102001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.0.0-20120904001-no-tools   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.0.0-20130504001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.5.0-20140704001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.0.0-20140704001-no-tools   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.1.0-20141004001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.1.0-20141202001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.0.0-20111104001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.0.0-20131001001s-standard  VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.5.0-20150204001-no-tools   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.1.0-20150304001-no-tools   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.1.0-20141202001-no-tools   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.1.0-20130701001s-standard  VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.5.0-20140604001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-6.0.0-20151104001-standard   VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported
ESXi-5.1.0-20141201001s-standard  VMware, Inc.  PartnerSupported

Homelab + ESXi Hostclient

My Homelab contains currently 2x HP Microserver N40L and one HP Microserver Gen8. The N40L’s are running ESXi 5.5 and the Gen8 is running ESXi 6. That’s my basic setup. Due the fact that I’m only using Apple computers I have searched a long time for an alternative to the vSphere fat client. Since a couple of months VMware has a Fling available called ESXi host client. The new host client is a HTML and JavaScript based vSphere client running directly on the hypervisor.

Hostclient installation:

Download the latest VIB from https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client

Upload the file to the ESXi datastore and install it using esxcli.

esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/datastore/esxui-3530804.vib

Afterwards you can access the hostclient using the management IP of your ESXi host https://MGMT-IP/ui

hostclient_login

Login using your ESXi credentials.

hostclient_host_view

Most of the standard configurations can be handled with the new host client which simplifies everything.

Now I hope that …

New HP Microserver NL54

HP has announced a new version of the nice little Microserver. After the NL36 and NL40 now it is the NL54. The basics are the same the only real improvement is the new CPU which is now running on 2.2Ghz instead of 1.5Ghz. The official memory limit is still 8GB. 🙁 I had expected that HP will increase the limit to 16GB. Nevertheless it is a cool small server which is perfect for home lab setups.

Quickspecs

long time no post … :-(

I’m very busy at work as we are currently in major reorganisation. Personal for myself everything has changed. I’m now in a new department including a new boss and new responsibilities. But now everything settles and I have time for new stuff like my preparation for the VCP 5 exam. 🙂

As preparation I have upgraded my Homelab completely to vSphere 5. Both Microserver and the ML115 G5 are running ESXi 5 with the latest patches. The vCenter is running as virtual machine located on the ML115 G5 as this box has much more power than the Microservers. Next step is setup of a shared storage as this is still missing in my homelab and the VDR for backups.

Hopefully I’m able to finalize these things asap.…