March 1, 2015

A New Year, and New Upgrades to Home Lab

HP ProCurve 1810G-24

Now that 2011 is upon us, I’ve been focusing on updating my home lab so that I can prepare for the VMware VCAP exams as well as the Cisco CCNP exams, my goal is to finish both of these by the end of 2011.  To accomplish this I needed to make some upgrades in my home lab.  The first upgrade I needed to make was switching, about 2 weeks ago the only gigabit switch I had in my lab (a Linksys SRW2024) decided to take a permanent vacation and I set out to find a replacement.  Since there is a switching exam for the CCNP my first thought was to replace it with something that would also help me on that exam, however I quickly found that a 24 port GbE switch just wasn’t going to happen given my lab budget. I did some research and found that a lot of people with home labs are using the HP ProCurve 1810g, so I ordered a 24 port model.  I haven’t used HP switches much but I liked that it is fan less (noise is a concern for my lab, I can hear it running upstairs if I turn on all the equipment) and also that it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Synology DS1511+

Next on my list was storage, right now I have a NetApp DS14 shelf with 14x72Gb FC disks.  Remember how I said I can hear my lab upstairs?  Well this guy is the main reason, not to mention the fact that it is getting too expensive to run – especially when you consider how much usable space I’m getting out of it and that this particular system cannot run dedupe.  I had already been looking to upgrade my storage as I have a Drobo that I use with my Mac that has been giving me a lot of problems, I looked into most of the SMB offerings out there like the Iomega, QNAP, and Synology and in the end I picked the Synology DS1511+ I also picked up 5 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT drives to go in it, this should give me enough space to move everything from my Drobo as well as give me storage for my lab virtual machines.  The Synology can do both NFS and iSCSI for my VMware environment, and for the moment I am planning on keeping my NetApp/Brocade equipment for the times I want to mock something up with FC.

Image courtesy of anthonyimages via Flickr

After my wallet heals a little, I still need to buy a few more things, a couple of whitebox servers to use for ESXi hosts (I’m going with whitebox servers over something like a HP ML110 or a Dell T110 due to noise).  I’m hoping to build one that supports 16Gb RAM, but may need to settle for 8Gb depending on cost, 2 of the virtual machines I will be running are the NetApp ONTAP 8.0.1 simulator as well as the EMC Celerra Uber VSA, together those two consume a good chunk of RAM by themselves – not to mention all the additional VMs I’m planning on running.

I also will need a couple of Cisco 3550 switches to use for L3 switching, and an additional 2950 switch to use for an access switch. I have a few Cisco 2600 routers (although none that are XM version) but I’m not sure if I have enough to properly do a routing lab, right now I’ve been using GNS3/Dynamips for my studying.  I plan on making another (or multiple) posts on training material/equipment for the various CCNP exams as I go through my studies.

About mike
I am currently a Cloud Technical Solutions Architect working for World Wide Technology in the Twin Cities, MN area. My professional summary is available via my LinkedIn page. I can be contacted by the Contact Me link at the top of the site. I also spend (too much) time on Twitter so feel free to follow or send me a tweet.

Comments

  1. Dave Schmid says:

    Mike – I just finished up my own upgrades – http://www.pulpfree.org/pf/1119 – but I’m struggling with getting LAG working with my DS1511+. One option was to get a new switch – which the HP ProCurve 1810G-24 was on my list. However, some of the Synology forums are sprinkled with that switch not working for 802.3ad – http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32490 – I’d love to know if you happen to get it working in your setup. If so, I’ll probably be looking at a new switch soon!

  2. Dave Schmid says:

    Mike – I just finished up my own upgrades – http://www.pulpfree.org/pf/1119 – but I’m struggling with getting LAG working with my DS1511+. One option was to get a new switch – which the HP ProCurve 1810G-24 was on my list. However, some of the Synology forums are sprinkled with that switch not working for 802.3ad – http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32490 – I’d love to know if you happen to get it working in your setup. If so, I’ll probably be looking at a new switch soon!

  3. mtellin says:

    Hi Dave, the only thing I had to set differently to get the trunk config to work with the Synology vs how I have it created for my ESXi hosts was the “Static Capability” setting under Trunk Configuration. For the ESXi hosts I had it checked by the Synology seems to require it be unchecked.

  4. dan says:

    Hi Mike, have you tried plugging a NetApp array (vifs) to the Procurve 1810G switch? Does everything work good?

  5. mtellin says:

    Hi Dan, to be honest I’ve barely powered up the physical NetApp I have since getting this switch (and the Synology). The cost vs usable space wasn’t there for me (not to mention the noise). Most of my testing is against the various NetApp simulators I have on my ESXi box. Main reason for keeping the physical one around has been for testing various FCP configs which I haven’t done in some time…

    If you need something tested quick I could do that, although if your question is more along the lines of how have they been working together day in and day out then unfortunately I couldn’t answer that.

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.In a previous post I mentioned some of the upgrades I’ve been doing for my home lab, I finally got around to posting […]

Speak Your Mind

*