VMware NSX Lab Environment: Part 2 – Compute Hardware

I have decided to use (4) Hewlett Packard ProLiant physical servers for my VMware NSX Lab Environment.

A standalone HP DL320e Gen8 v2 server will be used for:

  • (1) vCenter Virtual Appliance – 2 vCPUs and 4GB of memory.  This is vc-l-01a.
  • (1) NSX Manager – 2 vCPUs and 6GB of memory.  This is nsxmgr-l-01a.(1) Jump
  • (1) 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.

A cluster with (3) HP ML110 G6 servers will be used for:

  • Compute Cluster A virtual machines– (2) ESXi Host virtual machines with 2 vCPUs and 4GB of memory each.  These are esxcomp-01a and esxcomp-02a.
  • Compute Cluster B virtual machine – (1) ESXi Host virtual machine with 2 vCPUs and 4GB of memory. This is esxcomp-01b.
  • Mgmt Cluster – (3) ESXi Hosts with 4 CPUs and 16GB of memory each. These are esx-01a, esx-02a and esx-03a.

The 3-node physical cluster will have ESXi installed on bare metal (Flash Drive), this will be the Mgmt Cluster.  On the Mgmt Cluster I will deploy the (3) NSX Controllers, and (3) Compute Cluster virtual machines (esxcomp-01a, esxcomp-02a, and esxcomp-01b).  Although VMware Hands-on-Lab Online uses (2) ESXi hosts in the management cluster, VMware recommends that (3) NSX controllers be deployed.  Each ESX host in the Mgmt Cluster will have (1) NSX controller and (1) Compute Cluster ESXi Host virtual machine.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.25.47 AM

More about the HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2 Server Series – A HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2 with an Intel® Xeon® E3-1220v3 (Quad-core, 3.10 GHz, 8 MB L3, 80W) CPU was added to my lab environment in May this year.  It is outfitted with the following:

  • 32GB (4 x 8GB) ECC DDR3 1600MHz Memory
  • Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SATA III SSD
  • HP 1GB 332i Ethernet Adapter (2 Ports)
  • SanDisk 8GB MicroSDHC for ESXi

Noise & Power: The DL320e Server series is louder than a desktop computer, with all three fans running at 6.27 percentage I measured 62 dBA with my RadioShack Sound Level Meter hovering over the front face panel.  For me, this server is not quiet enough to sit in my office, it is better suited for a server closet. Using my P3 Kill A Watt P4400 Electricity Monitor I found that the DL320e consumes 32 watts at idle.

ml110g6i1

More about the HP ProLiant ML110 G6 Server Series – The ever versatile HP ProLiant ML110 G6 Sever series has been my choice for the Lab environment since the summer of 2010.  I currently have (3) Intel® Xeon® X3430 (Quad-core, 2.40 GHz, 8 MB L3, 95W) CPU models each is outfitted with the following:

  • 16GB (4 x 4GB) ECC DDR3 1333 MHz Memory
  • Samsung 830 Series uSATA 1.8″ 64GB SATA II SSD
  • HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit server adapter
  • SanDisk Cruzer 4GB Flash Drive for ESXi

Noise & Power: The ML110 G6 Server series is no louder than a desktop computer, according to the HP Proliant ML110 G6 Server – Maintenance and Service Guide acoustic noise at idle speed (with fixed disk drives spinning) is 24.9 dBA.  These servers are quiet enough to have in my office.  Using my Kill-A-Watt meter, power consumption at idle for each HP ML110 G6 Server is under 45 watts.

Continue reading the VMware NSX Lab Environment series:

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2 Responses to VMware NSX Lab Environment: Part 2 – Compute Hardware

  1. Pingback: VMware NSX Lab Environment: Part 1 – Inventory Assessment | NSX Insight

  2. Pingback: VMware NSX Lab Environment: Part 4 – Networking Hardware | NSX Insight

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