Saturday, December 1, 2012

Virtual Equipment + Physical Equipment = Big Lab

I have posted a few entries covering GNS3 and how you can use it to help you with your studies. And, in the "Connecting Your PC to Your Virtual GNS3 Routers" I showed you how it was possible to break your GNS3 routers out of the Virtual world and bring them in to the Physical world. In this post, I am to show you how I used this technique in my lab to give me a rather nice setup.

Figure 1 shows the equipment I own at the time of writing. I don't really use the 2610 as GNS3 fulfills all of my router needs. I do use the 2509 though as a console router for the rest of my equipment.

Figure 1


You may be wondering why I need four physical machines... well, at least the wife does ;) My explanation can be found in Figure 2.

Each physical machine has a Virtual Machine (VM) installed. These VMs are bound to their own physical NICs. This is why each machine has a minimum of three NICs. The reason why one machine has five NICs is because it also hosts GNS3. Two of its NICs are assigned to the job of connecting virtual routers to the physical network.


Figure 2


Figure 3 shows how each of the physical NICs are mapped.


Figure 3


Figure 4 tries to explain (or should I say justify?) why I have five monitors.


Figure 4


Finally, Figure 5 shows a basic topology which can be created with the above equipment.

Figure 5

Update

For a more detailed, step by step guide on how to achieve the above, please see my new website.

Update: Where to from here?

My lab has increased in size quite a lot since this post was first written (see the photos below). Even more exciting though is the purchase of my new PC purchase. With this PC I will be able to set up a few ESXi hosts, Nexus 1000V VSMs and VEMs. This will enable me to play around with vCenter, vMotion, VSM High Availability, etc. This, in conjunction with the additional VMs I will be able to create inside the ESXi hosts, will allow me to create even larger topologies than before. I can't wait to get started! :)

The lab as it stands now:





As always, if you have any questions or have a topic that you would like me to discuss, please feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this blog entry, e-mail at myciscolabsblog@gmail.com, or drop me a message on Twitter (@OzNetNerd).

Note: This website is my personal blog. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not those of my employer.

New PC - Nexus 1000V here I come!

As per my previous post, I have been in the market for a new PC for a little while now and have finally made a purchase. The specs can be found below.


CPU: Intel Core i7 3770
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD7850 2GB OC V2
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 Motherboard
RAM: G.Skill Ares F3-1600C10D-16GAO 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3
Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912 Advanced
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 520W Power Supply HCG-520
HDD1: Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD
HDD2: Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD
HDD3: Seagate Barracuda 2TB ST2000DM001
DVD: Samsung SH-224BB/BEBS SATA DVDRW Drive OEM
Screen: 27" Acer V273HL Acer V273HL FHD LED Backlight Monitor

Total Price: About $1,750

The reason for I opted for the Intel Core i7 3770 instead of the 3770K (as was originally planned) is due to the 3770's VT-d support. It was a difficult giving up the overclocking capabilities provided by the 3770K, however, as virtualisation is one of my primary goals I knew which way I had to go.

In regards to the GPU, I like to game from time to time so thought I'd treat myself with a half decent graphics card.

In regards to the two SSDs - as I plan to use several VMs concurrently, I didn't want my HDD to become a bottleneck. By having two SSDs I will be able to spread my VMs across both of them.

In regards to the 16gb of RAM, I thought I'd give it a try to see how well it performs but will most end up purchasing another 16gb as virtual machines tend to consume a heck of a lot of RAM.

Anyway, now that I have my new machine, it is time to get started adding a Nexus my lab!

Before I end this post I just want to throw out a huge thank you to the guys over at PCCG. They provided me with excellent customer service, were very friendly, and had the machine ready to go within 24 hours. Their prices were also one of the best I could find. I can't recommend them enough.


As always, if you have any questions or have a topic that you would like me to discuss, please feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this blog entry, e-mail at myciscolabsblog@gmail.com, or drop me a message on Twitter (@OzNetNerd).

Note: This website is my personal blog. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not those of my employer.