15th May 2017

Cloudy Home-Lab and the desire to retain WAF!

I like playing with technology. My Home-Lab used to be the office and a small instance of ESX 3 that I got running under VMware workstation when I was bored.

When I worked for a large UK based hosting provider I got to work with interesting technology everyday.  there where boxes and boxes of blades, servers, storage, networking and racks to work with everyday.  Not to mention the several hundred hosts and VMs in production that needed a careful eye and the occasional prod.

Since I moved back into the industry (following an architectural path with a charity) my time to actually get to grips with the technology has been severely curtailed.  To the point now where I don’t even have a login into the test and development environments, let alone production.


So I need a new way to get hands on with the technology, something with a suitably high WAF (wife acceptance factor), that means I’m not going to get away with spinning up any hardware.

These two requirements have led me to ravello systems and there home-lab service,  The benefits of which Ravello cunningly identify below.

My plan is to try and initially replicate a single small VMware cluster, think three nodes, AD and a virtual center server then look to add in VSAN, NSX, vRealise and anything else that look interesting and I have a licence key for.

The original setup will be simple, with the aim that I’ll be able to get it up and running in less than an afternoon and so that I don’t have to focus too hard on its creation.

Maybe some Cloud integration to AWS and Azure both native connectivity and perhaps with Velostrata (

Well as a start anyway.

I’ll document the configurations and issues I encounter on this blog.