What Is Your Ideal VMware Lab Environment?

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been researching what are the “ideal” configurations for a home VMware vSphere lab.  Ideally, it would be small enough to run a few virtual machines and demonstrate high availability features like vMotion, DRS, HA or even FT.  The problem that I’ve run into is that I haven’t found a really good site that has a detailed list of parts and pieces to buy.  The problem that I’ve run into is that some people recommend rack servers, others recommend you use tower servers and all of the designs includes external switching, connectivity to storage.  As you can imagine, this leads to a mess. 

Sure, it’s probably okay to have a pile of cables, switches and servers generating noise and heat in your home office, but what if you didn’t have to?  One of the big value propositions that blade servers offer is the ability to reduce your cable, management and power complexity – so what if there was a blade infrastructure that would be cost efficient for a home lab and was robust enough to server your virtual needs.  I’m working on finding a blade solution to be able to write about that will solve your lab needs, but this is where I need your help.  I need to know what your ideal lab environment would look like.  Take a few minutes and help me out by answering the following questions (either via comments below, or email me at kevin AT bladesmadesimple.com):

  • What’s the MINIMUM amount of servers would you need for your lab?
  • What’s the MINIMUM memory you’d want for your lab?
  • What’s the MINIMUM storage you’d need for your lab?
  • What’s the MAXIMUM price you’d pay for a bundled blade solution (servers/storage/networking)?

Thanks for taking the time to answer – feel free to comment about what your needs would be for a Citrix or Microsoft lab as well (no bias here.)

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