Intel Pro/1000 Dual Gigabit NIC PCI-X Card in PCI Slot

The issue that a lot of people run into when creating ESXi home labs is getting enough network cards to properly simulate a production environment, so they are able to segregate all of their network traffic into proper VLANs. Consumer level hardware doesn't normally come with 2 NICs onboard, and although adding additional NICs is possible, getting to four phyiscal NICs while actually keeping expansion slots for other things can be difficult. To solve this, I've started using Intel Pro/1000 MT … [Read more...]

ESXi 5.0 AMD Whitebox Server for $500 with Passthrough (IOMMU), Build #2

As I spoke about in my first post, ESXi 5.0 AMD Whitebox Server for $500 with Passthrough (IOMMU), my ESXi Home Lab is a bit different than most in that I'm not only looking for a lab, but also a production environment to run virtualized HTPCs (XBMC in a VM), and even virtualized PCs for the house. All hardware had to be consumer, but it also had to support ESXi HA (high availability), ESXi DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler, also known as clustering), ESXi FT (fault tolerance), and other … [Read more...]

ESXi 5.0 AMD Whitebox Server for $500 with Passthrough (IOMMU)

One of the things that I looked for in building my ESXi Home Lab was that I wanted enough hardware at a decently cheap price, to get get practice with the advanced features such as vMotion, Fault Tolerance, and Networking, but I also wanted a functional lab where I could do things like virtualize my NAS and HTPC for the house. In fact, I ended up virtualizing all but a single PC in the house (both my wife and my son use a virtual computer as their everyday desktop), but that's for another … [Read more...]

DIY 19″ Server Rack for Home Servers and/or ESXi VMWare Lab

One of the pipe dreams of many a home networking geek, or those involved in the IT field is a server rack loaded with hardware at home. Although there are a number of potential pitfalls with this (higher electricity bill, Internet connectivity and speed, dynamic IPs, and more), many times, it's simply the prohibitive price of the server rack and hardware itself that manages to put people off from this. CraigsList can be a wonderful source for old server racks, but sometimes, you'll have to … [Read more...]