Building an advanced lab using VMware vRealize Automation – Part 4: Physical infrastructure – compute

20150630 - vRAIn part 3 of this series on building a lab using VMware vRealize Automation we configured the physical networking to support our lab.  In this part we install and configure VMware vSphere 5.5 on our servers.

Before we can install vSphere, we have to analyse our requirements and source hardware to satisfy them.  Obviously we would like hardware that comes with as much compute, storage and network capacity as possible, but budgetary constraints must be taken into consideration. Continue reading

Building an advanced lab using VMware vRealize Automation – Part 3: Physical infrastructure – networking

20150630 - vRAIn part 2 we outlined our storage resources for the project.  We built a Windows 2012 R2 Server which provided iSCSI and NFS services to the environment.

In this part we configure the networking infrastructure that has been provided for the lab, and prepare it for the introduction of our VMware ESXi hosts.  Continue reading

Building an advanced lab using VMware vRealize Automation – Part 2: Physical infrastructure – storage

20150630 - vRAIn part 1 I outlined the aims of the project, which is to build an advanced lab using VMware vRealize Automation.  In this article, we will configure the storage that will house our provisioned virtual machines.

The first constraint that has been identified is cost, which effectively rules out fibre channel storage of any kind.  However, with the right hardware, we can utilise other technologies such as iSCSI and still provision high-performance storage: Continue reading

Building an advanced lab using VMware vRealize Automation – Part 1: Intro

20150630 - vRAA few months back my boss came to me and asked if I could build a test lab for the company.  Being a managed services company with a number of technical staff, it was important to give them a training ground where skills can be learned but mistakes also made without consequence.

We have a lot of kit we currently use for testing changes on prior to putting them live, but not a segregated area dedicated for this purpose. Continue reading