My biggest questions before buying/building out a lab were:
- What is the real purpose behind building out a lab? I want to get my VCAP-DCA and VCAP-DCD Certs
- What is the benefit? ROI?? This will allow me to become intimately familiar with VMware’s infrastructure and layout.
- What am I taking away from all of this? Knowledge and experience that will hopefully give me an edge in the tech industry (and maybe a higher salary, right?)
- Can I really do it? Psh! Of Course I can!
- Will I really use it? We won’t really know til I’ve got it (so far I’ve used it every day)
I also did a Pros/Cons list to make sure I felt justified in spending several thousand dollars on a lab. Of course, I had to get approval from my finance department (aka MY WIFE!)
I then started to scope out what I wanted. This was quite simple. I wanted enough resources to build out a decent lab that ran fully automated HA/DRS with Fault-Tolerance, etc. I started browsing through some of Lenovo‘s powerful workstations and Newegg.com‘s inventory and realized that my build was going to come out to be over $15,000… So, I took it back to the whiteboard and started over. Do I really need 256 gigs of RAM? Do I really need 2xXeon 6-core processors? Do I really need a 10TB NAS?
I scaled it down a bit… and then some more…. and then some more…. If there is one thing I have learned in the past it is “do not make an impulse buy!” I slept on it for about a week, then changed it up a little more. In the end I purchased the following…. (Building The New Lab: Part 2)