Autolab is a way to bring up a VMware environment through scripted installs to create test/lab environments. every person who works with VMware should have a test lab. Although it would be ideal to have the same hardware as your production lab and completely duplicate the setup, that’s often not feasible. There are also things that come along with a test lab that make them annoying, for lack of a better word. Either you messed something up during testing and need to rebuild, or you’d like to test a different setup, which means you need to start completely over. This is where AutoLab comes in.
This lab builder kit is designed to produce a nested vSphere 5.5, 5.1, 5.0 or 4.1 lab environment with the minimum effort. Prebuilt Open Source VMs and the shell of other VMs are provided along with automation for the installation of operating systems and applications into these VMs. The lab build was originally created to aid study towards VCP5 certification however it has many other possible uses.
The hardware requirements for the lab are moderate. Hopefully you won’t need to buy a new computer, although you may need to do some upgrades. If you can dedicate a computer to the role then the lab runs extremely well under ESXi.
|Hardware||Minimum||Great Choice||Used to build the lab (laptop bought in 2009)|
|CPU||Dual Core, 64Bit||Quad Core, i7||Core2 Duo|
|RAM||8GB||How much can you afford?||8GB|
|Hard Disk||60GB free space||200GB SSD free space||Second SATA hard disk, Laptop OS on small SSD|
|Operating System||64 Bit||ESXi 5||Windows 7 64Bit|
|Virtualization Software||VMware Player (untested)||ESXi 5||VMware Workstation 8.0.2|
The AutoLab kit contains open source software and so can be freely redistributed. The full lab requires licensed software components some of which are quite large, vSphere and Windows installers. Download the deployment guide for directions to download the other software.