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So I have VMWare ESXi up and running at home now. I even managed to get vCenter up and running. It’s definitely working better now that I do not have to deal with stupid DNS issues from boxes not starting up prior to vCenter. This new EdgeRouter Lite is making life much easier. I’m currently handing out static reservations with DHCP for the cluster. Though, I did take the time to set the domain controller up with a static IP address so AD doesn’t freak out. Being able to resolve DNS names from my desktop without needing to point at a DNS server in the cluster that may or may not be powered down is pretty nice too.

I’m sure that this is pretty easy for most people in an enterprise environment, but I haven’t been able to do much at work with VMWare administration for the last year or two. With as much as I would like to spend more time doing it to make some large changes to our infrastructure, it isn’t in the cards right now. So this is nice being able to play with stuff at home.

I have managed to figure out something that I have done incorrectly though. It seems as though the HP G6 doesn’t support some of the same CPU architecture as the newer HP G7 does. So I can’t migrate hosts currently that I originally installed on the G7 to the G6 host. I was definitely not expecting that to be a thing. So I think that will probably be the next thing that I look into on HomeLab. It’s super slick though to be able to migrate the other two hosts between boxes with no downtime. I know it’s not a production environment and downtime doesn’t mean anything, but still. It’s just nice to have this working right now.

So far though, I have created a small domain with a couple Server 2016 boxes that have the Desktop Experience enabled. I will be making another Domain Controller and will not be using the Desktop Experience. One of the local guys I know that I trust has told me that if I want to really know what I’m doing that I should learn PowerShell and use it to manage Windows Server since that is the way that Microsoft is going. I can’t say that this is a bad idea. I learned how to manage the mail server at work without using the GUI a long time ago. It’s harder at first because you need to learn how to read outputs and logs to verify things, but you need to do that with the GUI as well. You just don’t get the pretty front end on tools. I can deal with that.

All things considered, I’m very much enjoying this at home right now. While I am not playing with VMWare in the lab, I think my next projects will be to go ahead and order some wall mounts. My plan is to go ahead and start wiring the house for a network. When doing this, I will move HomeLab to the garage. It isn’t climate controlled, but I’m using old hardware that’s not expensive. If I burn through a couple hard drives a year, who cares? They’re $11/ea and I bought spares. I know that most people will frown on this due to dust and it not being a controlled environment, but I’m not looking for world-ending stability. This is something I’m doing to learn a skillset or use the skillset I have better than I currently do now.

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