I have been working with several customers and partners who are exploring the features and capabilities of VMware NSX. I generally direct people who are interested in getting some “Hands-on” experience with the product to VMware Hands-on-Lab Online. Today there are four labs available today.
- HOL-SDC-1401 – Cloud Management with vRealize Operations
- HOL-SDC-1403 – VMware NSX Introduction
- HOL-SDC-1424 – VMware NSX in the SDDC
- HOL-SDC-1425 – VMware NSX Advanced
Until recently I used VMware Hands-on-Lab Online to perform Live Demos for customers. In fact, the last time that I have used VMware Hands-on-Lab Online, my lab environment was deployed in under 26 seconds – now that is impressive! The only challenge I have had with VMware Hands-on-Lab Online is the Time Limit. Although the time allowed is generous, allowing up to 9 hours for the VMware NSX Introduction, there are occasions where I don’t want time to be a constraint. As an example, I had recently scheduled a Live Demo with a customer. The morning of the demo I enrolled in the VMware NSX Introduction HOL and prepared the environment for the demo. At the last minute, my customer rescheduled the Live Demo for the next day. As a result I had to re-enroll the next morning and prepare the lab environment a second time to perform the Live Demo.
In Q4-2014 I expect to be conducting significantly more live demonstrations, warranting the need for a dedicated NSX lab environment. My goal is to have a fully functional hardware environment that closely resembles VMware Hands-on Lab Online.
After conducting an inventory of the VMware Hands-on Lab Online for the NSX I began to appreciate the tremendous amount effort and resources used to build the environment. The environment includes (5) ESXi hosts! By my calculations a staggering 14 vCPUs and 34GB of memory are the minimum resources required to support the environment. Here is the break down:
- (1) Compute Cluster A – (2) ESXi Hosts with 2 vCPUs and 4GB of memory each. These are esxcomp-01a and esxcomp-02a.
- (1) Compute Cluster B – (1) ESXi Hosts with 2 vCPUs and 4GB of memory. This is esxcomp-01b.
- (1) Mgmt Cluster – (2) ESXi Hosts with 2 vCPUs and 6GB of memory each. These are esx-01a and esx02a.
- (1) vCenter Virtual Appliance – 2 vCPUs and 6GB of memory. This is vc-l-01a.
- (1) NSX Manager – 2 vCPUs and 4GB of memory. This is nsxmgr-l-01a.
- Total vCPU and memory: 14 vCPUs and 34GB of memory.
In addition to these resources there are other infrastructure virtual machines that are not exposed to the participant. These include:
- (1) Jump Windows 2012 R2 Standard Server virtual machine with 1 vCPU and 2GB of memory. [Note: This is the system used to perform the labs] This is ControlCenter.
- (1) NFS Storage Appliance with 1 vCPU and 1GB of memory. This is 10.10.20.60 and 10.20.20.60.
- (1) Bridge virtual machine with 1 vCPU and 512MB of memory. This is VM-VLAN-18.
Note: I did not include the infrastructure virtual machines in the Total vCPU and memory. I plan on replacing these virtual machines with physical hardware.
Finally, we have the virtual machines that are “nested” on the ESXi hosts within the environment. These include:
- (6) SUSE Linux 11 (64-bit) Web Server virtual machines with 1 vCPU and 512MB of memory each. These include: app-sv-01a, db-sv-01a, web-sv-01a, web-sv-02a, web-sv-03a, and web-sv-04a.
- (1) Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (64-bit) IIS Web Server virtual machine with 1 vCPU and 512MB of memory. This is iis-w-01a.
- (1) Router virtual machine with 1 vCPU and 512MB of memory. This is Router.
- (1) Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit) with 1vCPU and 2GB of memory. This is sec-mgr-01a.
The Total vCPU and memory requirements will make it difficult to nest the VMware NSX Lab Environment on a single computer. In my next post I will document the physical equipment used in my Lab Environment.
Continue reading the VMware NSX Lab Environment series:
- VMware NSX Lab Environment: Part 2 – Compute Hardware
- VMware NSX Lab Environment: Part 3 – Storage Hardware