Building my new vSphere 5.5 homelab


In order to bring you guys more and better blog posts, I need a new homelab. My current nested Workstation setup just isn’t going to cut it any longer. So what better way to spend your Koningsdag hangover than searching the Web for new goodies to buy?



  • 2  NICs
  • reasonable amount of CPU & MEM
  • low power consumption
  • low noise

Intel NUC seems to be the talk of the town nowadays, but adding extra hardware can be a bit of a hassle and is likely to limit you to the board only option. Other popular options are the Shuttle slim/mini PC’s. I decided to compare 3 different setups.

My NetApp Flashpool implementation

The other day I was designing and implementing an all new NetApp FAS3250 setup running Clustered ONTAP 8.2 supporting a vSphere environment. This setup contains a bunch of SAS 10K disks and a DS2246 shelf filled with 24x 200GB SSD’s.

Because of the requirements stated by the customer, most of the SSD’s are used for a SSD-only aggregate. But to accelerate the SAS disks, we opted to use 6 SSD’s to create a Flashpool. I guess Flashpool doesn’t need any further detailed introduction. It is a mechanism used by NetApp to utilize SSD’s to automatically cache random reads and random overwritten writes in a dedicated Flashpool aggregate. Note the bold ‘overwritten’! This cached data is available during a takeover or giveback.



Although the implementation of a Flashpool is pretty straight forward, there are a few things I would like to point out. Things I encountered during the implementation:


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