Home Lab

I had started building my Home Lab shortly after I joined VMware PSO back in 2011, since then I have modified & added plenty of components and went through different configuration scenarios.

As of today, my Home Lab looks as below:



in Summary, my Home Lab consists of:

  • 42 Units Servers Rack.
  • 4x Hosts, each has Intel Core i5 (Quad cores) & 32GB RAM
    • 2x DELL OPTIPLEX 9010
    • 1x DELL OPRIPLEX 790
    • 1x Manually assembled Host (White Box) with Intel Motherboard & Full Tower case
  • Each Host has 5x Physical NICs (1Gb/Full Dup./Jumbo Frame)
    • Single Port (Intel Gigabit CT PCI-E Network Adapter EXPI9301CTBLK)
    • Dual Ports (Intel PRO/1000 Pt Dual Port Server Adapter)
  • For sake of optimal VDI environment, the following Hardware components added to the assembled Host:
    • 240GB SSD (running vDesktops on it)
    • nVidia GRID K2 (to support vSGA)
    • AMD FirePro v7800P (to support vDGA)
  • Dedicated networks for vMotion, Storage, Production traffic
  • All Network connectivity is 1Gbs / Full Duplex / Jumbo Frame
  • Synology DS1512+ 5-bays NAS, which contains:
    • 2x SSD [120GB] configured in RAID1 and used as Cash
    • 3x HDD [2TB] configured in RAID5 (2+1)
    • 2x 1Gbs NICs
  • LG N2R1D 2-bays NAS
    • 2x 1.5TB HDD configured in RAID1
    • 1x 1Gbs NIC
    • Used mainly as SMB share for Production environment
  • 1x Zero Client (Tera1)
    • EVGA PD02

Below you will find how it looks like in real life:


Currently I am running the following Software/VMs there:

  • ESXi 5.5u1 / vCenter 5.5u1 (appliance)
  • There are the following Infrastructure VMs running:
    • Windows 2012 AD (2x DCs)
    • MS SQL 2008 R2 Server
    • RDSH Server (Windows 2008 R2)
    • Linux CentOS VM used as Router between VLANs
    • Control Centre (Windows 7 Pro 64-bits)
  • The following VMware solutions running:
    • VMware Horizon View 6.0 (facing the Internet)
    • VMware Horizon Workspace 2.1 Portal
    • vCOPS 5.8
    • NSX 6.1

My next in my to-do list for my Home Lab is to build VSAN Lab by using Intel NUC … I need just to find the budget and time for it 🙂


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Do you mind sharing details on your DELL OPTIPLEX 9010. I am thinking of buying one with i7 3770 and 32Gb of RAM. Does ESXi just work on it? Or did you have to inject NIC drivers to it? Been told it has Broadcom NIC and I heard esxi6 has those drivers. Does your machine had broadcom NIC too? Did you try additions PICe NIC cards too? I just don’t want to end up hacing an expensive machine which cannot run ESXi.

    • Safouh says:


      Sorry in being late in my response.
      ESXi 6 Update 2 is working just fine out-of-the box on the DELL OPTIPLEX 9010. you don’t need to install any additional driver and the ESXi recognizes it by name.
      By the way, it’s very silent too 🙂

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