Building a sandbox requires planning

I mean it.

6 servers (5 operational as one is crashing itself repeatedly), 2 switches, and bandwidth.

This should be easy to do! I mean: what could go wrong?

Nick installed VMware ESXi 5.0 on the physical hardware.

I then mounted up a NetApp FAS250, loaded some ISOs, installed Windows Server 2008R2, all smooth.

Added a pfSense firewall (cause probably a good idea) and wallah, a sandbox has been created where there wasn’t one before!

All done without planning! I was excited. This was going to be the start of a great learning experience for the staff to create fake companies and work on learning how to convert servers into virtual machines (ignore the fact they are already virtual) using VMware Converter. Now all they need is a vCloud Director system to deploy them.

Registered for an evaluation of vCD and get the prerequisite RPM based server in place. This was easy! Now set up the Microsoft SQL Server instance for the vCD database and away I go. (I am almost to the point where I can install vCD in my sleep)

Almost forgot my VMware vShield Manager VM – quick deploy of the appliance and a ‘setup’ on the command line…DONE!

Log into my new vCD instance, add vCenter…and wait. and wait.  and wait. time out. WTF? What’s going on?

Log into the vCD server (CentOS, ew) and fire up tcpdump – I see the connections, I see return packets but the timeout error is saying it could not contact the vShield Manager.

Long story short – after multiple reinstalls of vSM and vCD and having failures I decided to start it from scratch. Nick reinstalled the ESXi boxes for me and I made (and followed!) a plan.

Now the sandbox is complete with a working vCenter, vCloud Director and the natives are happy.

Moral of the story: don’t get cocky, kid.

3 Replies to “Building a sandbox requires planning”

  • how has ESXi5 worked with the NetApp? NFS or iSCSI?

    Ive read some mumblings about ESX5 and iSCSI issues (scsi unmap, etc) that are still being addressed.

    Anyways, congrats on the build. A good sandbox is always handy, thats where we plan to setup/play with our new ZFS SAN whenever we get that sorted out. Nice to be able to put stuff through its paces and learn from it in that kinda environment.

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