VMWare LAB Hardware question

llarava used Ask the Experts™

I would like to build a VMWAre lab for testing and learning purposes. I have a budget of 1000$ and I was wondering if someone could give me some advise about what hardware will be the best fit.

My idea is to get a powerful PC with 8 to 10 GB  of RAM (HP Pavilion P6140f). I would also like to get an iSCSI device (QNAP TS-210 Turbo OR TeraStation™ Duo - TS-WXL/R1). Originally I thought using OpenFiler or other iSCSI software emulators but a real iSCSI device will really increase the performace.

I was also thinking about installing VMWare workstation and then create the VShepere server, I want to have to so I can test with VMotion, HA, etc...

Has anyone attempted to do this before? Is this setup feasible?

Could someone advise about other hardware that will fit my budget? Or provide any ideas about other different  approach?

Thank you.
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well in short i run a ESX including Vcenter on my laptop, i am working with vmworkstation v7.x and have exs installed on the workstation.

i have a pavilion laptop with a cpu that supports 64bit os, this is important, but most new cpu's do support this, i also installed it my old intel computer with 4gb of mem and 2 250gb sata disks.
this all works fine, i don't have a NAS device but for example the iomega storcenter ix2 is supported and will work with iscsi / nfs. so this can be used to work with vmotion/DRS/HA.

do make sure that you have supported nics, not all network cards are supported. intel and broadcom are working fine.
check the link to verify your hardware.

i just posted a article for installing esx by the VMWARE EDA this will help you install esx through pxe boot, with some computers the cdrom drive will not work during installation, i used this and was ready in about 10 minuts.
<a href="http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_2369.html">Installing ESX through EDA (multi vmware installation)</a>

if you have any question just post.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.
I have testedh both ESXi 3.5 and 4 on clone hardwre no problem.

My current config is:
You will only be able to test with HA for 60 days.  VMMotion is not included for free.

Lastly, you will need to check the VMWare HCL to verify that your hardware is listed. http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/458

If your hardware is not listed, check the whitebox hcl http://www.vm-help.com for a list of tested chipsets

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