Home Lab Upgrades, Network Standardization

A quick update here for May 2015:

Yesterday I upgraded from a 24 Port NetGear GS724Tv3 Switch to a 48 Port Netgear GS748Tv3 switch. Along with the switch upgrade I completely re-cabled everything with new CAT6 cables. They are now color coded based on function for my new network design. I really like the idea of knowing what might be plugged into the other end just based on visual inspection, despite having all cables labeled at each end.

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I’ve added a new LED lighting system to the rack.  I normally use one fixed color at a time but for the video I had it cycling through for demonstration, otherwise it’s a bit too much like having a night club in the house. Replaced many power cables with shorter length cables 1ft / 3ft to reduce excess cable mess. Not everything needs to have a 6ft power cable!

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Took me about 3 hours all said and done. My home lab needed a good cleaning anyway so it was a good opportunity to fix some things. The recent addition of NAS3 left me in a scramble for ports. Previously I had it temporarily running on a single link, yet it was my main VM storage. It is now setup properly in a LACP port channel.

Video above shows a quick tour of the changes.

SSD Emulated Virtual Disks for Nested ESXi

I came across a gotcha scenario when trying to deploy vSAN in my home lab. When adding disks to the nested ESXi server all of the disks are detected as regular ol’ spindle disks regardless of the actual underlying storage. So I was in need of a method to emulate an SSD device. Truth be told there are actually many other reasons why you might want to emulate a SSD disk.

The solution is easy! It’s just one simple edit to the virtual machine’s configuration file (VMX). As long as you’re running virtual machine hardware version 8 or later you can configure a specific virtual disk to appear as an SSD.

scsiX:Y.virtualSSD = 1

X represents the controller ID and Y is the disk ID of the virtual disk.