About a year ago I created a home lab to help me with my VCP 5 exam. I posted my write up on techexams.net. The design was a nested environment where I ran ESXi on top of ESXi. I ran FreeNas as an VM so I could use the functions of storage vmotion. This setup worked well for me at the time, and was fairly cheap in terms of cost. The hardware I used was no more than a gaming machine with parts verified to work. The post can be found here.
Now VCP-DV is over I wanted to explore going for my VCAP and I was going to need a lab closer to a production environment.
My first step was to get a NAS. I purchased a Synology 1812+ NAS. It supports iSCSI and NFS shares. I use it for my home media and soon my hosted VMs. I’m able use link aggregation in order to get better performance. I plan on installing three SSDs in a raid set for further improvement. The other 5 bays are used for media.
I plan on building a couple of ESXi hosts out of shuttle boxes, with i5 processors, and 32GB of ram. As I build the rest of my lab I will update this post. In the meantime you can see my inspiration for this lab from Ryan Birk Here.