Microsoft Server 2016 and System Center and SQL Oh My!

Well it’s finally here – Microsoft Server 2016 has been released and is now generally available (GA). I’ve been messing around with the technical previews since they first came out and I eagerly awaited the final release. It is now time for me to start rebuilding a large portion of my home lab environment and … Read more

pfSense DNS Resolution for DHCP Leases

Name resolution makes life easier for everything so today I’ll show you how I’ve setup my pfSense device to perform DNS resolution on devices registered via pfSense DHCP.   pfSense General Setup – Domain In this example I’m going to use the default domain name configured with pfSense. Obviously this should be tweaked for your … Read more

Why I’m Using VMware ESXi In My Home Lab

A question came to me recently concerning my use of VMware ESXi on my home lab servers rather than Microsoft Hyper-V. I should of course acknowledge there are other options such as Linux and various other hypervisors but let’s stay on point for now. At work I run both ESXi and Hyper-V, there are certainly … Read more

Intel X552/X557-AT Network Adapter Driver Installation on VMware ESXi

My home lab is comprised of two Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T servers which utilise the Intel Xeon-D system on chip (SoC) CPU. This chip has built in 10Gb Ethernet support and provides two ports for cool stuff like storage/vMotion/VSAN etc. We also have two 1Gb NICs, again provided through the SoC. Unfortunately the standard installation of VMware ESXi … Read more

VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client Installation

Today I’m going to install the VMware ESXi Embedded Host Client software on one of my Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T lab servers. This is a VMware fling I’ve kept an eye on since it’s first release and much as I would like to see it on our production systems it isn’t’ something we have signed off on … Read more

Configure Cisco SG300 Switch Layer 3 Mode

The Cisco SG300 switch series can act as a standard layer 2 switch or be enabled for layer 3 functionality. Typically the switch will come in layer 2 mode (also called switch mode in the CLI). There are a couple of ways layer 3 functionality can be enabled and I will demonstrate them both below. … Read more

Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T Servers First Look

Yay! Today my Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T servers arrived which will make up my home lab along with the Cisco SG300-20 switch. The microservers pack one hell of a punch, let me give you some quick specs. 8 core Xeon-D 1541 SoC (System on Chip) which includes hyper-threading and every feature you can think of enabled 128GB … Read more

Cisco SG300-20 Switch First Look

Today I received my Cisco SG300-20 network switch – part of the new lab environment I am putting together at home. It’s a 20 port gigabit switch with layer 3 functionality. The unit itself looks very nice as you might expect from a Cisco switch and importantly for me is passively cooled so no noise! … Read more

HP 3PAR Simulator Deployment on VMware vSphere ESXi

Today we will deploy the HP 3PAR simulator on VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5. You can also deploy the simulator on VMware Workstation however the steps are slightly different. Please note this is quite a long post as it includes many screenshots and notes. System Requirements The 3PAR Simulator requires a VMware ESXi 5.x or a … Read more