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  • Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

    Gents,

    I want to build a LAB machine so that i can simulate numerous environments using Workstation 6.5. I will also be using Packet Tracer 5.0 for the Cisco sims.

    I need to be able to run about 6 vm instances simoultaniously and will be using Server 2003 x64 as a Host OS.

    Now the precission and high end x64 workstations cost quite a bit. So before i go and spend a fortune I would like to ask you opinion as I'm sure some of you have faced the same problem in the past.

    I know that i will need high IOPS and quite some ram so therefor decided on WD Raptor Disks and 8gb of DDR2/3...provided i go for selfbuilt solution.

    Would you build a machine ?
    Would you buy (customize) a machine ?
    What are you using now ?
    MCITP:SA 2008, MCITP:EA 2008
    MCTS Vista, MCTS Windows 7
    Cisco Certified Network Associate
    ITIL Practitioner V3
    IBM Certified Specialist: System X
    IBM Certified Systems Expert: BladeCenter
    VMWare Certified Professional
    Working on:
    Bcom Criminology, MS OCS

  • #2
    Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

    I suggest you decide on the spec you want and then compare the prices to buy/build it. With manufacturers like Dell, get an idea of the price from the website and then contact either their sales team or a reseller to get the price down.

    Buying gets you a warranty, and these days is likely to be marginally cheaper if you buy the base system and then just add your own RAM and hard drives.

    If this is purely to be for a lab though, I'd have thought that preferably something like ESXi, or failing that VMware Server would have been preferable to Workstation.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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    • #3
      Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

      VMWare server 2.0 was on the table too yes.

      I opened this topic to get an idea of that sort of spec i would need, based on that i would choose a vendor.
      MCITP:SA 2008, MCITP:EA 2008
      MCTS Vista, MCTS Windows 7
      Cisco Certified Network Associate
      ITIL Practitioner V3
      IBM Certified Specialist: System X
      IBM Certified Systems Expert: BladeCenter
      VMWare Certified Professional
      Working on:
      Bcom Criminology, MS OCS

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

        I have a Dell Precision T5400 with a pair of quad core Xeon 2.8GHz and 8GB DDR2. Storage is 4 x 300GB SAS disks in a RAID 10 through a PERC 6). Depending on what I'm doing in my lab, I may have up to 15 VMs running concurrently (ESXi) - keep in mind though that the required hardware for X VMs can't really be specified, as different VMs do different things.

        I'd recommend opting for something grunty, but with enough scope for upgrade in the future. So rather than getting a pair of dual core CPUs, get a single quad core and leave a socket free for a future upgrade, perhaps.
        Gareth Howells

        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

          Exactly the information i was looking for.

          I thought that ESXi only supported 1 socket ??
          MCITP:SA 2008, MCITP:EA 2008
          MCTS Vista, MCTS Windows 7
          Cisco Certified Network Associate
          ITIL Practitioner V3
          IBM Certified Specialist: System X
          IBM Certified Systems Expert: BladeCenter
          VMWare Certified Professional
          Working on:
          Bcom Criminology, MS OCS

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

            Not sure to be honest, I've not been using ESXi very long and only put it on there to play around.

            http://communities.vmware.com/thread/173834 though suggests that while individual VMs are limited to 4 cores, ESXi itself isn't.
            Gareth Howells

            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

              You might also consider using ESXi instead of VM ware workstation. You'll be able to run more VM's for the hardware.

              It's a lot smaller compatibility list though, so if you are building a whitebox computer you'll need to make sure your hardware is compatible.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building a LAB machine to suit VMWare Workstation

                I will second that that idea - if you can go for ESXi you will get much much better performance
                Maish
                ----------------------------------------------------------
                Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
                VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
                MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
                A proud husband and father of 3 girls
                ----------------------------------------------------------
                If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

                Have a good one!!

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