Ditch the home server and run a dozen VMs on a laptop

Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2014 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: vmware, vTardis, home lab, win8

Thanks to the shortsightedness and inadequate investment of the currently popular style of IT Manager who just might be able to turn on a computer without requiring assistance the idea of a computer lab at work to allow you to test new software or infrastructure has more or less disappeared.  This has lead to the rise of home labs for many, as the repercussions of rolling out untried modifications can be very serious as can falling behind of the latest trends and technology.   With that in mind Simon Gallagher discovered a new use for vTardis; to set up ESX clusters on a laptop which is much easier on your electrical bill.  With the specific improvements to VM performance on the Core i7 3720QM and a laptop capable of handling 32GB of RAM he was able to set up ten ESX instances, complete with nested virtual machines.  There is one more trick to setting these clusters up, it seems you need Windows 8 to be able to pull it off though The Register does not specify why.  You could pull this off with an AMD processor as well, as long as it has Rapid Virtualization Indexing.

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"At last year's Melbourne VMware user group (VMUG) conference, VMware's Mike Laverick opined that IT pros need a home lab these days, because bosses have stopped shelling out for training."

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Source: The Register

February 12, 2014 | 01:51 PM - Posted by Tim Larsen (not verified)

Why Windows 8? Virtualbox on a Linux does the same job unless I'm missing something. Running a home server with a media server, an infrastructure server (Zentyal) and a firewall - all virtual.

February 12, 2014 | 05:36 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Still not sure why Win8 was recommended.  Sure you can do that on Linux but that doesn't really help when you are builing a home lab to test for a Windows corporate environment

February 13, 2014 | 12:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you read some of the posts at the Register linked to Jeremy Hellstrom's article, the posters describe many linux based builds that work fine, without having to deal with M$, and considering the lack of any new technet subscriptions, those linux/KVM/Etc. builds will save the user some try it before you buy it money, and the headaches of dealing with the empire of sadness.

Read this: "Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination"


February 13, 2014 | 12:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

linked to in Jeremy Hellstrom's article

February 13, 2014 | 01:34 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Not arguing that Linux is a poor choice to build VMs on, it certainly isn't.  However for a large enterprise whose entire infrastructure is on Exchange and AD, it isn't much help.  So this means IT staff don't have to cart home and build a full server to do test labs before rolling out changes.

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