Budget 41-50k VMWare vSphere Home Lab for Study/Self Learning


Well-Known Member
  1. What is your budget?
    • Had this been 5 years back, the budget was close to 2 Lakh.
    • Now its down to 50k unfortunately and dont wish to stretch beyond this.
  2. What is your existing hardware configuration (component name - component brand and model)
    • My earlier rig(assembled by me) was Pentium 4 2.53Ghz and Asus motherboard, 250GB HDD(later upgraded to 500GB and now dead), RIVA TNT2 Graphics Card. It was just when Intel launched this PROC in India during around 2002. Its still there, but now in shutdown state,
    • Had paid that time 12500/- for Processor and 10800/- for motherboard. There was limited choice during those days and was very costly to build performance oriented desktops :)
    • Later had rented a system with Core i5, 16 GB, 1TB, onboard 1GB Graphics Card to setup a small home lab (Returned it back as almost spent close to 40-50K in the rent in 2.5-3 years). Never tested vSphere on this. It was for OpenStack, Windows Servers study lab etc.
    • Currently Have an IdeaPad Laptop for home use, and recently upgraded its Hard drive to Crucial MX500 and additional 8GB Ram which is again from Crucial. (Installed it myself)
  3. Which hardware will you be keeping (component name - component brand and model)
    • NA
  4. Which hardware component are you looking to buy (component name). If you have already decided on a configuration then please mention the (component brand and model) as well, this will help us in fine tuning your requirement.
    • CPU with Multiple Cores (From what I intend, thats what I believe is needed)
    • Not keen on Xeon CPU, as it would be a burden I believe for a home lab and wont fit the budget. (Inputs welcome)
    • Asus is my fav brand and swear by it, but I am absolutely open for other suggestions from Intel, Gigabyte etc.
    • To start with 32 GB RAM (If during initial days 16GB works will go for it else somewhat determined to start with 32GB if thats what is needed and fits within this budget)
    • I am fine with onboard GPU, as my Rig is more towards learning Virtualization, Cloud computing (On Prim sort of setups in virtual environment).
    • Not sure about which HDD, SSD to go for this RIG.
  5. Is this going to be your final configuration or you would be adding/upgrading a component in near future. If yes then please mention when and which component
    • If suggestions advise to start with 16GB memory, then in future I will upgrade to 32, and if need be add more if my needs dont suffice, and the study demands more. (But want to avoid more spends on Home Lab unless really required)
    • For storage to test HA, vMotion, DRS, I have been reading about Free Open Source NAS VM appliance. Suggestions welcome.
    • If I have room for GPU, in future might consider dual monitor setup.
    • In future some casual FPS gaming(not mandatory though but have that thing still alive inside ;))
  6. Where will you buy this hardware? (Online/City/TE Dealer)
    • I am comfortable with both Local and online
    • Online (Suggestions welcome)
  7. Would you consider buying a second hand hardware from the TE market
    • No
  8. What is your intended use for this PC/hardware
    • Virtualization - Setup a home lab for minimum 2 vSphere ESXi v6.5 or above version, with 1/2 vCenter VM appliance, and atleast 4 VM for testing HA, vMotion, DRS etc features.
    • The same configuration if any juice left will use it for setting up on prim for practice Cloud environment.
  9. Do you have any brand preference or dislike? Please name them and the reason for your preference/dislike.
    • I was searching for Dell, HP, but I think its wise to assemble one as it will save me lot of money.
    • Would need a good power efficient PSU, to ensure reduced wastage and lower power bills. Long back in 2011 assembled a Core i5 for a friend with Seasonic PSU rated well during those days.
  10. If you will be playing games then which type of games will you be playing?
    • Used to play games long time back during college days and initial phase of carrier. But now time doesnt permit.
    • However if I am spending this much, would be good if some casual gaming(FPS)(Earlier played - Project IGI, Max Payne, Counter Strike, NFS etc.). can be done in future.
  11. What is your preferred monitor resolution for gaming and normal usage
    1. Currently I am using BenQ - GW2280 (Bought online during Amazon sale). For the time being would use this, and if you guys can suggest a cheap KVM switch to switch between my laptop and this RIG would be good.
  12. Are you looking to overclock?
    • Not interested in overclocking unless required.
  13. Which operating system do you intend to use with this configuration?
    • It would be mostly evaluation version of Windows Server 2016, which allows to be used for 180 days, and post 1more re-arm again for 180 days.
    • Eventually as I save more money, will get a licensed Windows 10 Pro as my lab would be setup in VMWare Workstation Pro irrespective which OS I install on this Rig.

Thanks in Advance !

Dear Mods,
Since I specifically did not find a thread touching this requirement based on todays vSphere requirements, thought of starting this thread, I am sure it could help a lot many other forum members who might be working as Systems Administrator and want to setup a similar home lab.
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