Continuing with my series of articles about VMware exam study I’m going to look at what I built to study.
I’ve spent a while writing about what physical and virtual hardware you can use, your existing PC, retired servers or a white box ESX server. I’ve also written about how to find out what to study. But so far I haven’t linked the gap between. This article will talk about the VMs I built for my successful VCP5 study and what I installed in them. I built this lab on my laptop as mentioned in the existing PC article.
First you need a vCentre VM, here’s mine:
Name MobileVC RAM 3GB Processors 1 Hard Disk 60GB Thin Provisioned
31GB used from host
Network 1 NAT, for Internet access Network 2 Host Only Operating System Windows 2008 Server R2 Additional Software vCentre 5.0 SQL Express StarWind iSCSI Target
I installed Windows and then vCentre, after that I did a full set of patching using my WSUSOffline folder. This tool lets me download a full suite of Microsoft updates & then install them as required. It’s also very handy to have a copy of the patch set on a USB disk when you visit relatives.
Shared storage is provided by the free edition of the Starwind iSCSI target which has two 16GB disk targets configured, each target is a 16GB .img file on the file system of the vCentre server. I could have installed Starwind on my laptop but I wanted to have the whole lab encapsulated in the VMs so I could move it to another host. The 16GB targets allow a couple of nested VMs to be run on each datastore, you should only need three nested guest VMs.
Then you need two ESXi servers:
Name Mobile_ESX1 RAM 2GB Processors 2 Hard Disk 6 GB Thin Provisioned
1/5 GB used from host
Network 1 Host Only Network 2 Host Only Operating System ESXi 5.0
For VMs to run nested on the ESXi servers I chose Windows XP, installed from an ISO using the vSphere client redirection. Each XP VM:
|6 GB Thin Provisioned
4.5 GB used from Datastore
|cpubusy.vbs from classfiles.iso
cpubusy.vbs is a useful script for generating CPU load to cause DRS activity, it’s used in the Install Configure Manage course and hopefully there’s no problem with listing it here, here’s the contents:
Dim goal Dim before Dim x Dim y Dim i goal = 2181818 Do While True before = Timer For i = 0 to goal x = 0.000001 y = sin(x) y = y + 0.00001 Next y = y + 0.01 WScript.Echo "I did three million sines in " & Int(Timer - before + 0.5) & " seconds!" Loop
Along with IOMeter I put this on the desktop of my nested guest VMs to allow me to generate CPU and disk loads.
All up the three VMs occupy a little under 40GB of disk space and a little over 7GB of RAM on my laptop, I can test HA and DRS as well as templates and cloning. Building the entire environment is part of the study, so don’t rush it.
© 2011, Alastair. All rights reserved.