Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

New Test Lab

Posted by graycat on 20 June 2011

The time has come for me to upgrade my previous testing kit and create a dedicate area diverse of the production network. Presently I’m using virtual machines on one of our VMware clusters are the sites to test WinXP, Win7 and various software packages or settings on Server 03/08. Whilst this is great for that it is part of the production network and in some cases the domain too which is starting to make me uncomfortable so time for a new setup.

I want to test slightly more than the existing Windows kit going forward and need to get involved with VMware clusters including HA, DRS, DPM and their underlying configuration.

Traditionally you would have to have a lot of expensive physical kit to create this and whilst I’m not destitute that would be outside if my budget. That was until I ran across a VMWorld Best in Show winner – the vTARDIS. [link: vinf.net]

Basically the vTARDIS is a HP ML110 (I think!) running ESXi which then has many further virtualised ESXi hosts clustered on it with even further virtual guests running off of those! Now he’s not quite avoiding the laws of physics by running this all on a low powered HP server as you’ll see from his website however he is using some very intelligent over subscription of resources along with a few more tricks. I’m not going to go into them here as it’s his baby, not mine.

After seeing this and a few other articles on virtualising ESXi I’ve decided that that’s the route for me. Along the way I’ve also evaluated another bit of kit for one of my other admins who’s requirements aren’t as high as mine. All of which will be posting about as I progress.

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