Re: VMware Home Lab - single or multiple hosts?

Peanuthead

Active Member
Jun 12, 2015
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In short, I have 3 XeonD hosts and I don't feel like I am using them all that much to justify having all 3. I've been thinking about consolidating down to 1 big host and using a nested setup. Posting and thinking about this while I am tired too, so that may be exacerbating the issue. Down side to that is playing with something like pass-through or the new v7 hardware assignments. Thoughts or suggestions welcomed.
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
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I would go with a single esxi host if you're not using high avalability (or hosting vms relevant for the home infrastructure).
 

Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
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I guess it depends which component you are tinkering with most -
if software - then single host with nested esxi will suffice
if hardware at least every so often - then keep at least a spare for playing around

And o/c what @i386 said - dont go single host if you rely on any services running on this or you can afford potentially longer downtime (vmware bugs are not unheard of;))
 

ecosse

Active Member
Jul 2, 2013
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I've been downscaling to save on energy costs. I can cope with the odd unplanned outage.

However, I read here VMware vSphere 7 Review - Evolution or Revolution? that the minimum integrated vsphere k8 solution requires a minimum of 3 nodes and this How to Get vSphere with Kubernetes says VSAN is required for the management domain.

I havent got my head around this yet (maybe someone else has) but perhaps its worth sticking with 3 until you assess what you want from v7?
 

vangoose

Active Member
May 21, 2019
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I've been downscaling to save on energy costs. I can cope with the odd unplanned outage.

However, I read here VMware vSphere 7 Review - Evolution or Revolution? that the minimum integrated vsphere k8 solution requires a minimum of 3 nodes and this How to Get vSphere with Kubernetes says VSAN is required for the management domain.

I havent got my head around this yet (maybe someone else has) but perhaps its worth sticking with 3 until you assess what you want from v7?
Get a beefy server and run nested ESXi, better to have 2.

I've consolidated quote a few servers recently.

I have 4 ESxi servers running 6.7U3b
- 1 Management/Storage node, 1 AD DC. 2 vCenter, 2 Storage VM with passthrough nic and hba, 16 core and 128GB ram.
- 3 node cluster, each with 8 core and 128GB ram
- 1 backup physical server

With mac learning, performance is surprisingly good on nested esxi.
vCenter 7 on management node
3 vSphere 7.0 nested nodes, one on each ESXi 6.7
 

mysy

Member
Apr 2, 2020
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If you want to try some new function, I suggest your get two esxi host , one for normally use , other one for upgrade try new thing.
I'm have one HPE DL320E Gen8v2 1U for ESXI 6.7 u3b ,4x 500G Raid0 for VM Hosts
One DL20 G9 with 2x 500G SSD and 2x 6TB for VM Data storage.
Othe new ML110 G9 with 8 LFF disk for normal function use with Esxi 6.7 home server . Homebridge , Wi-Fi AC server,...
 

Net-Runner

Member
Feb 25, 2016
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It has been a long way for me to consolidate a park of various used, refurbished, and repurposed hardware at my home lab into a single powerful server that currently runs a couple of nested labs on top. I have a fully-fledged VMware vSAN cluster and another Microsoft Failover Cluster with S2D alongside. A dozen VMs with CentOS, Xen, pfSense, OpenWRT, 3cx, and other similar stuff are mostly offline but can be revived in seconds if required. The overall usability and comfort of working with this setup are incomparable to what I had previously.
With that said I would suggest you go with a single host. ESXi as a hypervisor for sure. And no limits in fantasy. I have started with this guide How to build a home lab using your PC. Part 1: ESXi 6.7 U1 - VMWARE BLOG as the foundation.
 

TLN

Active Member
Feb 26, 2016
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I have a big beefy box and I'm downsizing now.
Will have two ESXi boxes:
-Main esxi host that can run multiple nested ESXi instances: all SSD, 10gbe.
-Backup host for Data backup. Going ESXi over physical, so I can run low-power VMs there when messing with main host.