Difference between revisions of "Introduction to automated nested labs"

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One of the issues with having a home lab is that when you build nested labs you typically end up with spending a lot of time building your vSphere Core infra, and the other products you actually want to test from scratch.  
+
One of the issues with having a home lab is that when you build nested labs you typically end up spending a lot of time building your vSphere Core infra, and the other products you want to test from scratch.  
When you are at the point you can actually test the feature you want to test you spend so much time.  
+
When you are at the point you can test the feature you want to test you spend so much time.  
And when you have build this nested lab clean it nicely up is also a time-consuming exercise when doing this properly.  
+
And when you have built this nested lab clean it nicely up is also a time-consuming exercise when doing this properly.  
  
For this reason I decided to do something about it. I wanted to automate the build of nested labs, so I can directly jump into the features and functionality I have to test instead of spending so much time on the actual build.  
+
For this reason, I decided to do something about it. I wanted to automate the build of nested labs, so I can directly jump into the features and functionality I have to test instead of spending so much time on the actual build.  
  
 
== Automation methods ==
 
== Automation methods ==
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I decided to use the last one.  
 
I decided to use the last one.  
 
Having a vRA or vCD environment introduces a large capacity need, that you typically don’t want as you want to use your resources as efficiently as possible.  
 
Having a vRA or vCD environment introduces a large capacity need, that you typically don’t want as you want to use your resources as efficiently as possible.  
Even tough I have 256 GB to play with on my management host and 768 GB of RAM in my Compute Cluster resources can still be better spend nested.
+
Even though I have 256 GB to play with on my management host and 768 GB of RAM in my Compute Cluster resources can still be better spend nested.
 
And besides that, it is time to learn some Terraform anyway.
 
And besides that, it is time to learn some Terraform anyway.
  
This blog series will explain you all steps that I took to go from nowhere, to build a full-blown automated nested lab.  
+
This blog series will explain to you all steps that I took to go from nowhere, to build a full-blown automated nested lab.  
  
In order to fully understand what is going on I will create different blog articles to go step-by-step, because this can be overwhelming and difficult to understand if you miss one step.
+
To fully understand what is going on, I will create different blog articles to go step-by-step because this can be overwhelming and difficult to understand if you miss one step.
  
 
== Blog Series ==
 
== Blog Series ==
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** [http://www.iwan.wiki/My_physical_network_infrastructure_(VLANS_and_subnets)_and_host_hardware My physical network infrastructure (VLANS and subnets) and host hardware]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/My_physical_network_infrastructure_(VLANS_and_subnets)_and_host_hardware My physical network infrastructure (VLANS and subnets) and host hardware]
 
* Automating the '''installation''' of vSphere core
 
* Automating the '''installation''' of vSphere core
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/The_nested_labs_project_overview/introduction The nested labs project overview/introduction]
+
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/The_nested_labs_project_overview/introduction The nested labs' project overview/introduction]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Nesting_NSX-T_(lab)_inside_NSX-T_(infra) Nesting NSX-T (lab) inside NSX-T (infra)]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Nesting_NSX-T_(lab)_inside_NSX-T_(infra) Nesting NSX-T (lab) inside NSX-T (infra)]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Subnet_and_IP_address_planning_and_registration_using_PHPIPAM Subnet and IP address planning and registration using PHPIPAM]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Subnet_and_IP_address_planning_and_registration_using_PHPIPAM Subnet and IP address planning and registration using PHPIPAM]
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Gitlab,_Git_and_visual_Studio_Code Gitlab, Git and visual Studio Code]
+
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Gitlab,_Git_and_visual_Studio_Code Gitlab, Git and Visual Studio Code]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Install_brew,_PowerShell_and_Terraform_on_my_MacBook_Pro_running_OS_X Install brew, PowerShell and Terraform on my MacBook Pro running OS X]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Install_brew,_PowerShell_and_Terraform_on_my_MacBook_Pro_running_OS_X Install brew, PowerShell and Terraform on my MacBook Pro running OS X]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Terraform:_NSX-T_infra_segments Terraform: NSX-T infra segments]
 
** [http://www.iwan.wiki/Terraform:_NSX-T_infra_segments Terraform: NSX-T infra segments]
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== Thank you ==
 
== Thank you ==
  
I would like to thank Raymond de Jong, Yuki Tsuboi and Dale Coghlan for the time they took in order to explain the method they are using in their lab to eventually allowed me to publish this blog series and allowed me to build my nested automated home lab.
+
I would like to thank Raymond de Jong, Yuki Tsuboi, and Dale Coghlan for the time they took to explain the method they are using in their lab to eventually allowed me to publish this blog series and allowed me to build my nested automated home lab.
But I am not finished yet, so please look out for the new articles as well.
+
But I am not finished yet, so please lookout for the new articles as well.
  
 
[[Category:Articles]]
 
[[Category:Articles]]

Revision as of 18:44, 11 April 2020

One of the issues with having a home lab is that when you build nested labs you typically end up spending a lot of time building your vSphere Core infra, and the other products you want to test from scratch. When you are at the point you can test the feature you want to test you spend so much time. And when you have built this nested lab clean it nicely up is also a time-consuming exercise when doing this properly.

For this reason, I decided to do something about it. I wanted to automate the build of nested labs, so I can directly jump into the features and functionality I have to test instead of spending so much time on the actual build.

Automation methods

In order to do this I had multiple options here:

  1. Use vRA with vRA blueprints
  2. Use vCloud Director
  3. Use Terraform / PowerCLI scripts

I decided to use the last one. Having a vRA or vCD environment introduces a large capacity need, that you typically don’t want as you want to use your resources as efficiently as possible. Even though I have 256 GB to play with on my management host and 768 GB of RAM in my Compute Cluster resources can still be better spend nested. And besides that, it is time to learn some Terraform anyway.

This blog series will explain to you all steps that I took to go from nowhere, to build a full-blown automated nested lab.

To fully understand what is going on, I will create different blog articles to go step-by-step because this can be overwhelming and difficult to understand if you miss one step.

Blog Series

More blog articles will be added in the future to finish the series on outstanding topics like:

  • Enable Routing of different subnets inside a single infra-NSX-T segment
  • Work with Terraform modules to call other terraform scripts from a single script
  • Use Terraform Workspaces to deploy multiple lab instances with the same code
  • Recreate the vmk0 interface
  • Automating the configuration of the vSphere core environment
    • Automating the configuration of the (nested) vSphere Core infrastructure
  • Automating the installation of a (nested) NSX-T environment
    • Automating the installation of the (nested) NSX-T infrastructure
  • Automating the configuration of a (nested) NSX-T environment
    • Automating the configuration of the (nested) NSX-T infrastructure
    • Automating a 3-tier Application with (nested) Segments, Tier-0 and Tier-1 Gateways

Thank you

I would like to thank Raymond de Jong, Yuki Tsuboi, and Dale Coghlan for the time they took to explain the method they are using in their lab to eventually allowed me to publish this blog series and allowed me to build my nested automated home lab. But I am not finished yet, so please lookout for the new articles as well.