It’s time to renew my VCP as reminded me by VMware’s email.
Lately I’ve been quite lazy with my blog because after VMworld sessions, both of VMworld, and a couple of other trips I felt that my family missed me, and vice versa. So, I slowed down with everything except my dear wife and baby.
Actually, it’s a process that I started weeks ago, just not to be in a hurry, as usual.
Since some years I left the idea to have a physical lab for several reasons, moving it to Ravello Systems thanks to my vExpert status.
I started from the exam blueprint, analysing every single section and applying to the lab. Of course, lab can’t be the only resource since the exam will cover stuff like maximums, licences and so on, but I strongly believe that getting dirty your hands is the best way to understand how things work and especially to remember and to troubleshooting.
Ravello has a simple management of the network layer, switches can’t have preassigned ports, and router can’t NAT unassigned IP. But this could be solved or using a third-party router (in my case, pfSense) or exporting either vCenter and NSX out of vCenter so that they could have a public IP.
I wrote a blog post, and that blog post was perfectioned by Ian Sanderson, and I also did for NSX (but it’s still to be published).
I presented my activity about vCSA during a Ravello vExpert session so I had a chance to install and reinstall several times the whole system – I decided to test either vCSA 6.5 and 6.7
Now I decided to plan things in a better way, assigning also VLAN ID to network, to simulate a more real environment. Result was exciting: better vSAN management, vmkernel in general better managed, and a much wider vision of the whole architecture so that it was also a good exercise for my architect activity.
Thanks to FreeNAS I’ve been able to simulate a iSCSI and a NAS storage I must mention also that the basis of my installation (and the previous also) came from Alastair Cooke‘s Autolab, lastly renewed.
I advise not to use more than 3 ESXi with no more than 4 vCPU and 8GB of RAM for 2 reasons: vExpert vSphere license covers max 16vCPU, and if you don’t plan to create tons of VM, a higher configuration will only burn hours of CPU. Another advice: use bare metal installation (Advanced configuration -> preferPhysicalHost: true): it will speed up all the platform a lot.
It’s a pity that it takes more than 15 minutes to start all, but it’s a little price compared to what you get.
In the next days, or maybe after VCP renew, I’ll try to go deeper in Ravello’s network to verify if I could squeeze more than what I’ve been able to, I’m sure that there’s something that I missed. I would like to thank David Owen for his support, Ian Sanderson for collaboration and Simon Law for inviting me to talk about my project at vExpert Community Call session.
I hope to be in the list if the next year Ravello will repeat the 3rd edition of Oracle Ravello Blogger Day should you plan to organize it.