VMware Certified Professional 4 Home Study Lab

An inexpensive, yet effective, system for increasing practical experience with vCenter and VMware ESX and ESXi

The HP ML 110 G6 server is an excellent platform for preparing for the VCP examination.

Here are the specifications for my test system:

* Intel X3440 Quad Core with HyperThreading (CPU outperforms the other two options: Core i3 and X3430)
* 8 GB RAM (up to 16 GB RAM is supported)
* (2) Intel X-25M 80 GB SSDs
* VMware Workstation 7.0

The total cost of the set up was $1300. However, in hindsight, I did not really need the second SSD, which would bring the price closer to $1100

My VMware Workstation configuration consisted of 4 VM’s:

1 vCenter 4.1 Server
2 vSphere ESXi Servers
1 OpenFiler (for iSCSI storage)

With this setup I was able to test a variety of the features and capabilities covered during the Fast Track course, including vMotion, Storage vMotion, and DRS.

I successfully passed the Exam on October 1, 2010, and part of that success was due, in part, to my lab at home.  Make sure to get lots of hands-on experience!

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