Time to Rebuild the Home Lab!

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I have been awful with blog updates lately. The irony is that I started falling behind once my classes for the M.S. in Communication that I am pursuing started. I am enjoying my return to school, but I did underestimate how much time I have to pursue two blogs, work, family, and my education!

Which leads me to today’s topic of choice: Rebuilding the home lab!

Yes, because I am a glutton for self-inflicted punishment I am currently designing the next iteration of my home lab. The biggest change this time will be to switch from iSCSI to NFS for my shared storage. This change will be an easy one, because I’ll just migrate the VMs that I want to keep onto other storage and keep the existing FreeNAS build. It works great, and I’ve always been happy with the FreeNAS solution.

Switching to NFS will require some changes to the network. I’m not sure what I want to do for network access to the NFS share yet. Whatever I end up doing I will be sure to share the process and the results here.

I have a dilemma as well. Part of me wants to continue to run a vSphere environment, because you cannot go wrong learning VMware. It will certainly help my career. I can blog about the process, probably become a vExpert, and I am studying for a VCA to be followed by a VCP. Like I said, there are lots of good reasons to go with VMware…

But I can’t help but hear the siren call of a Linux KVM lab calling my name!

“Patrick… Patrick… Why build a VMware lab again? You know you want a Linux solution that will not require pesky demo licenses! Give into the power of the open source! Search your feelings, you know it to be true!”

“Unlike the Force which only comes in two flavors you will find many different distributions of Linux. I happen to like Slackware… Why are you laughing?”

Yeah, I’m a total nerd. Deal with it.

The point is that my home lab has always been part learning environment and part therapy. I can lose myself in some really interesting work, or even just some simple mundane tasks, and either way I feel better after a long lab session when I finally get doohickey X to work with whatchamacallit Y.

The answer might be to virtualize the vSphere lab within the KVM lab. I have absolutely no idea if this is even possible, but if I can it would satisfy both my career needs to always be learning VMware’s technology while at the same time allowing me to pursue my personal interests.

I should clarify that I do believe Linux and KVM skills are something that will help my career as well. Right now in my current role the need of my clients is for VMware. That is why I am looking at the situation as being a VMware for career and Linux/KVM for pleasure scenario.

Whatever I decide to do you will know about. Over the next few weeks as I rebuild the home lab I hope to write some interesting “how to” articles for the blog. I also will be sharing a short interview that a friend in the industry agreed to do in the very near future. That is what you can expect from me here for the rest of the year and January.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have to get back to studying! 🙂

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One Response to Time to Rebuild the Home Lab!

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