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The vCloud Portable Lab: Overview

December 17, 2010

This post is part one of a series, detailing experiences, likes/dislikes and the ‘how-to’ process that I am going through to create a simple vCloud Lab on my laptop. Why on my laptop? Well, we (Xtravirt) do have a lab which is more than capable of running this lab environment, but I want something that is portable that can be used anywhere and at anytime.

I should probably start by telling you what I will be running this lab on! I am using a Lenovo W510 Laptop with the following specification:

  • Intel Core i7 CPU (Q720 @ 1.60GHz)
  • 16GB RAM
  • Seagate 500GB Momentus XT Hybrid SSD/HDD SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache
  • Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64

The laptop is a pretty beefy specification, although as you will see I do keep allocated resources pretty tight. To run the virtual machines on the laptop, I am using VMware Workstation 7 (the latest patched version). Initially, I have created 3 virtual machines as follows:

  • ESXi 4.1 – nickname cloudesx1
  • ESXi 4.1 – nickname cloudesx2
  • Windows 2008 R2 Standard x64 – nickname cloudvc1

ESXi Servers

The two ESXi servers have the configuration as show below. Additionally, the processor virtualisation engine Preferred Mode has been forced to Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI. The 40GB disks are thin provisioned.


vCenter Server

The vCenter server has its disk thin provisioned. It is running DNS as well, providing forward and reverse lookup zones for PDLAB. There isn’t much to say beyond that!



Virtual Networking

You may have noticed that I am using the VMware Workstation NAT Virtual Network. The only change that I made was to amend the IP range to something else that I would be able to remember Smile



Here is the list of additional software that I am using to build the lab

  • VMware vCenter 4.1 download with all the bells and whistles
  • Oracle 10g Express Edition
  • vCloud Director
  • VMware Chargeback 1.5
  • VMware vShield

In the next post I’ll take the first steps towards getting my vCloud lab up and running… I’m pretty sure that you can all install Windows and ESXi in some VMs without me explaining that part Winking smile

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