Home Lab

As this blog will revolve around solutions developed in my home lab, I thought it would be best to provide some details about how it is configured and how it will be used to demonstrate different scenarios throughout my current and future blog posts.

Network

  • Brocade ICX6610 48P – This is used as both my top of rack switch but also provides layer 3 routing for my lab.  I am running a QSFP+ to SFP+ breakout cable from the rear of the switch to service two intel x520’s in my compute hosts.  Cable was bought from FS.com, the Brocades are generally pretty good with any coded cable, but makes sense to get the cable coded to Intel, say if you are going to be using Intel NICs.
  • Sophos XG430 – I am using the physical Sophos appliance, however I have removed the operating system and am using PFsense instead
  • I am running OSPF between the two devices and have BGP running between my compute hosts to the Brocade, I am redistributing routes between the protocol.

Coming from Cisco switches, the Brocade was quite different to set up, but once you get your head around it is quite logical and easy.  

Network

  • velocloud at the edge – can’t be seen in the picture. There will be followup posts on this
  • Sophos XG430 running PFsense
  • Brocade ICX6610, running OSPF between PFsense and this
  • 2 QSFP+ to SFP+ DAC breakout cables to the two Fujitsu hosts
  • 8 twinax 10gbit links to the R720’s
  • A whole heap of virtual routers running on the R730
  • UniFi AC Pro’s for wireless

Storage – Dell R710

  • Dual Xeon X5670’s
  • 96gb RAM
  • 6x6tb WD RED’s

VCF Consolidated Management and Workload Domain

Compute

2 x R720’s
  • 2 x E5-2670’s and 2 x  E5-2620 v2’s
  • 256GB RAM in each server
  • 250GB NVMe vSAN cache + 2 1tb SSD + NVMe for vSAN capacity
  • Intel x520-DA2 NICs
  • HBA330
2 x Fujitsu Primergy RX2540’s
  • 2 x E5-2640 v3’s
  • 256GB GB DDR4 RAM
  • 250GB NVMe vSAN cache + 2 1tb SSD + NVMe for vSAN capacity
  • Intel x520-DA2 NICs
  • PRAID / SAS controllers

Second Workload Domain

1x Dell R730
  • Dual Xeon E5-2640v3’s
  • 256GB DDR4 RAM
  • 250GB NVMe vSAN cache + 2 1tb SSD + NVMe for vSAN capacity
  • Dell H730 mini in passthrough mode
  • Intel x520-DA2 NICs
2x Dell R630’s
  • Dual Xeon E5-2640v3’s
  • 256GB DDR4 RAM
  • 250GB NVMe vSAN cache + 2 1tb SSD + NVMe for vSAN capacity
  • Dell H730 mini in passthrough mode
  • Intel x520-DA2 NICs

Virtual Environment

The VCF Consolidated Management and Workload Domain runs all my management services for the entire environment, this includes Active Directory, vCenter, virtual FreeNAS, vRealize Lifecycle Manager, NSX-T Manager, Veeam, VMware Identity Manager, vRealize Automation, vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Network Insight. The consolidated domain also runs various virtual workloads and acts as an upstream Kubernetes cluster for NSX Application Platform running in the second workload domain. The second workload domain also has different virtual workload.


The storage host serves purely as storage for my lab as well as my media, this is considered my second tier for storage in my lab, as it is slower than both vSAN clusters. FreeNAS provides faster iSCSI storage to all hosts in the environment and the compute hosts use this as secondary storage after vSAN.