So, this past week I was in sunny Phoenix at the Spring 2013 National Church IT Roundtable. Each year, a few hundred of my friends get together to talk about Friendship, Food (lots of food), Faith, and Technology.
I had the privilege - again - to team up with my pal @wantmoore and teach a 6-hour (over 2 days) dive into building Highly Available Infrastructure. I think half of our audience fell asleep. The others were just waiting for me to say something stupid - which I did - a lot.
One of the coolest things we are doing at the Roundtables now are "TEN Talks" - modeled after the TED talks. We talk for up to 10 minutes (with a buzzer and Jaws music if we go over) on a useful technical topic. This year I spoke about my Mobile Sandbox.
One of my co-workers is the origin of this particular "type" of setup - I took his setup, modified a few things, and now use it as my own.
First of all - here's what my mobile lab looks like in Visio
I use VMware Workstation 9 as my "lab ecosystem of choice" right now. But, as a technologist - I will probably change tomorrow.
There are lots of good ways to build a mobile Sandbox. You could use VMware Workstation, or Fusion, or Virtual Box, or you could use your company gear (ha ha - just kidding) (not really) - but I highly recommend you build one.
I'm asked a lot how I learn things. I am an avid reader. I read books and blogs and tweets and cereal boxes. But the main thing I do is practice. I learned guitar and piano that way. I learned backgammon and chess that way. And I fully believe that without a proper sandbox, I couldn't learn the various technical software packages that I use daily.
Here's a snapshot of what VMs make up my lab today.
How I did it was build a Windows 8, Windows Server 2008R2 and a Windows 2012 Baseline image and then Sysprepped it. You can see the "Sysprep" images above.
Then, I created "linked clones" of those to make my various virtual machines. This is similar to using "differencing disks" - making a "master" disk and then each individual child disk/machine only holds the changes. It saves on hard drive space - which is a premium on my laptop.
The Virtual Networking editor in VMware Workstation is pretty nice. If you recall from my Visio, I have lots of Networks. You can see them all here.
You'll also notice that I have iSCSI networks - presenting storage to my lab vSphere & Hyper-V hosts. How I did that was by adding additional disks (using my 2nd hard drive) to my VCENTER01 virtual machine:
Then I used the iSCSI Target for Server 2008 R2. For Server 2012 it's built in; however, for Server 2008 R2 you can download that here.
And like a good engineer - I present out 2x different iSCSI networks for MPIO
Here's how I give appropriate disks to Hyper-V for the Cluster Witness/Quorum and CSV
And here's the various disks I present to vSphere for my Datastore use
From the Visio, you can see I built a SQL2008R2 box, and VCENTER01 attaches there. Because of how my Virtual Networking was done, I had access to my VMs from my normal Desktop but I adjusted my hosts file to make it easy to use the FQDN of my "lab.darylhunter.me' domain machines. I could fire up vSphere Client...
And verify MPIO for my Datastores
Finally, my lab sometimes needed Internet access. And since I isolated my various networks, I needed some sort of a router. So I built a simple RRAS/2008R2 router. I could have used lots of products, but instead, I used Server 2008R2 with 2x Virtual NICS and bridged one of them.
Anyway, those are just some highlights of how I did it. You're smart, I'm sure you could do better.
How do YOU Sandbox? What do you use? Something similar?