The third part of this series continues with the vSphere build on my whitebox server, the Asus Rampage II Extreme with Intel Core i7 2.8Ghz and a 120GB SSD. Following on from the video in part 2 where we installed ESXi on to the USB drive, we are now ready to access the physical ESXi host and start creating some virtual machines. Since this is a home vSphere lab environment, accessing the lab from anywhere (not just at home) is a major advantage for me, so I’ll be taking you through the steps to create a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine with an RD Gateway (Remote Desktop Gateway). We will also need shared storage in order to use vMotion, so I will also guide you through the setup of an OpenFiler iSCSI virtual SAN.
Way back when VMware VI3 was released in 2006 (doesn’t time fly!), I built a home-brew lab server for ESX 3.0 and used it partly to study for my VCP exam. That particular machine is now my home theatre PC (HTPC) as it wouldn’t stand a chance of running VMware vSphere, so here is my mission to build a whitebox VMware vSphere lab server. I must also give credit to Simon Seagrave and Simon Gallagher their vSphere lab server articles which have inspired me to do something about it and build a vSphere lab at home. Simon has lots of great articles on building a vSphere lab, and I urge you to visit his site.