VirtualMaster Home Lab with vSphere 6.0 – Part 1

By | 29/11/2015

Is arrived the moment to divorce from my wife… and so I decided to implement a personal home lab with vSphere 6.0 🙂 .

The hardware choice is been very hard and my options (also dictated from personal bugdet). So my options was:

  • 4 Mac Mini Late 2012 (not Mac Mini 2014 because it has memory on motherboard and impossibility to upgrade);
  • Single HP z820 with dual Xeon Processor and Lot of Memory;
  • 4 Intel Nuc NUC5i5RYH with dual SO-Dimm 8GB 1600Mhz and dual Hard Disk;

After long and painful decision my choice is fall on Apple! (yes I’m Apple Fan Boy!)

The reasons are multiple:

  • Same Hardware as Intel Nuc;
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet (when Intel Nuc has only one. You can add another sacrificing the internal Mini PCI connector and leaving the Nuc with external appendix… very bad…);
  • Internal AC Power;
  • Very Noiseless (only one fan inside);
  • Keeps the market value (when I will decide to sell it to buy a new one…);
  • With a Cluster system I can try more features instead a single system like Hp z820;
  • and last but not least: WAF (wife acceptance factor) rate very high!

My shopping list:

  • 4 Apple Mac Mini A1347 MD387LL “Core i5” 2.5Ghz (4 Logical Cores with Hyper-threading);
  • 4 QUMOX Kit 16 GB (2x 8 GB) 204 pin DDR3L-1600 SO-DIMM (1600Mhz, PC3L-12800S, CL11, 1.35V, Low Voltage) link;
  • 4 Seagate / Samsung ST1000LM024 HardDisk link;
  • 4 Samsung 850 EVO 256GB link;
  • 4 Sata Cable for dual Mac Mini disk link;
  • 4 USB 2.0 SanDisk 8GB for booting my ESXi: link (note: Apple Mac Mini 2012 does not support boot from USB 3.0 and ESXi 6.0 can not recognize the filesystem during the installation)
  • 1 Ethernet Switch TP-Link TL-SG1024DE (EasyManaged switch) link;
  • 1 Keyboard/Trackpad for console purpose: link;

I found many link that help me to build my lab:

  • YouTube video of how to install a secondary disk in a Mac Mini 2012: link
  • Great section for Apple Mac Mini from William Lam Blogsite: in particular:
    • ESXi 6.0 works OOTB for Apple Mac Mini & Mac Pro: link
    • Enable Auto Startup After Power Failure For Apple Mac Mini: link
    • Configure Apple Mac Mini to Default Boot ESXi: link

In the Part 2, the vSAN configuration of my Lab.


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