Rick Crisci from TrainerTests.com and fellow VCI, has documented the process of running a home lab in AutoLab in VMware Workstation. There are a couple benefits and downsides of running a VMware home lab in AutoLab. Lets cover those.
- Relatively low cost of entry with just needing VMware Workstation and PowerCLI (free).
- Possibly no extra hardware to purchase.
- You can deploy it relatively easily.
- You need a large machine capable of running multiple machines. Lots of memory is key here! A machine with 8-12GB of memory is barely going to cut it if you’re planning to keep your lab up and running to practice with.
- Not all VMware features are supported. Fault Tolerance and vSAN will give you a bit of grief trying to configure it. The two links listed will help you get it running with a little added effort.
AutoLab Deployment Guide can be downloaded here.
Even AutoLab themselves releases recommended hardware to run this on. Here are a few price points and hardware that run a nested lab well!
$1,000 Price Point
- CPU – Intel i5-4460
- Motherboard – Supermicro MBD-C7Z87-O
- Memory – 32 GB G.Skill F3-1600C7Q-32GTX
- Storage – 240GB Crucial BC200 SSD
- PSU – Corsair CX600M
- Case – Fractal Design R4
$2,000 Price Point