vmware home lab

Hi Experts,

I have a Dell PoweEdge server at home that I installed with Windows 2012 R2 server. I wonder If there is a product that I can install on top of this to create 2 Virtual machines with Vsphere 5.5 and start playing with HA, DRS, and setup my VMware labs

Can you please advise on the product, and step by step instructions to build this lab?
Jerry SeinfieldAsked:
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Brian CTXSupportCitrix ConsultantCommented:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You cannnot install VMWare on top of Windows - you can install VMware and put Windows in a VM.


Or you could skip VMWare and instead focus on Hyper-V - that's Microsoft equivalent of VMWare and it's simply a role you install on 2012 R2.
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Brian CTXSupportCitrix ConsultantCommented:
VMware Workstation will install on top of Windows, and Autolab is a lab environment that will run in VMware Workstation, and includes virtual ESX.  It absolutely can be done.

http://www.vhersey.com/2014/03/autolab-with-vsphere-5-5-support/

http://www.labguides.com/downloads/AutoLab_2.0_vSphere_Deployment_Guide.pdf

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smb-technologist/create-your-vmware-test-lab-using-autolab/

http://www.labguides.com/
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Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Yes, VMware Workstation is the best option. You can install ESXi without any problems and as many as you want provided you have the resources. They call it nested ESXi http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2009916/
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You would have to use VMware Player of VMware Workstation. This can be installed on your server, and you can then experiment, and build a VMware vSphere Lab.

You will need to have at least 16GB of Host Memory.

VMware Player 7.0 Free Download [FREE]
http://www.vmware.com/go/downloadplayer/

VMware Workstation 11.0 (30 day trial, $199) [EVALUATION]
http://www.vmware.com/go/downloadworkstation

I've actually created an EE Article here, step by step instructions which you can look at... this will allow you to test and try all the features of VMware vSphere, HA, DRS, FT, vSAN.

and the benefit is you do not need any full licenses from VMware, it can be down with evaluation licenses, that are rebuilt every 59/60 days.

You will need to have a license for VMware Workstation (recommended), by VMware Player can be used for free.

HOW TO: Set up a lab environment for vSAN using VMware Workstation
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Just to be clear, you cannot install ESXi on top of Windows. (sorry - somewhat misleading in my original comment - VMware is a COMPANY, whereas ESXi and VMWare Player are products; I was referring to ESXi) You CAN install VMWare player.

BUT, I would stay away from any nesting Hypervisors for performance reasons.
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Brian CTXSupportCitrix ConsultantCommented:
The OP specifically said it was for lab purposes in order to gain familiarity, so performance isn't much of a concern.  The OP even understands that ESXi won't install on top of Windows which was evident when they specifically asked if there was "a product" they could use to accomplish this task.  Certainly everyone else who replied understood ESXi won't install on top of Windows either.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Actually Nesting Hypervisors in the Community has become very acceptable, and now that Amazon and Google, have now also turned this feature on for Cloud, it's also being looked at by some for Production and Labs.

e.g. VMware vCloud Air ESXi Labs in the Cloud, and also Ravello Systems - http://www.ravellosystems.com/

Smart Labs on AWS or Google powered by nested virtualization

Like in the days, when we stated VMware Workstation was slow as a Type 2 Hypervisor, but on modern personal computers, which spare resources e.g. CPU, performance is quite acceptable, the same is now true of nested ESXi.
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Jerry SeinfieldAuthor Commented:
Andrew, can you please attach your blog with steps by step to setup lab using vmplayer and or workstation?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's here, I also wrote this article, so if you have any issues, we can discuss it.

HOW TO: Set up a lab environment for vSAN using VMware Workstation

It can take you a 2-4 hours to complete this, so put aside a block of time to do this.

Collecting all the download material can take a few hours to download, based on connection speed, and also make sure you download exactly what is in the article.
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