Upgrading the home lab to ESXi 6.0

VSphere 6.0 was released last week so I decided to give it a spin in my home lab. It comes loaded with a lot of features that might not be useful in a smaller virtual environment: virtual volumes, long distance vmotion, VSAN 2.0, etc but it does include significant scalability improvements for various subsystems in the vmkernel. … [Read more…]

Backing up VMs on ESXi

After putting together my home server along with its 4 VMs, I wanted to have a way to back them up periodically to a NFS datastore. Given that one of my drives in a ZFS pool failed recently, I realized that not having a backup of the ESXi datastore itself on which the VMDKs were … [Read more…]

An Ode for a Home Server

Here’s to my home server. An HP Microserver N36L that is running ESX 5.5 and hosts my media, web, NAS and OpenVPN servers: All the data disks are passed through using raw device mapping to FreeNAS which then treats them as JBOD for RAIDZ1. This is fine given that I don’t think of RAIDZ as … [Read more…]

Connecting the dots …

Back when I joined VMware in 2012, I had used VMware’s ESX but not extensively enough to realize the value that this product brings to a data center. As a system admin in a previous life, I found it extremely handy to be able to manage virtual machines versus managing actual physical servers. At Columbia … [Read more…]