ESXi homelab help


I have a Intel NUC at home which is great for learning ESXi (6.7) and also running running my pfSense firewall (for layer 3 routing and Internet access) and some other VMs (monitoring etc).

The Host only has 3 x 1GB but this is fine for home I’m not too bothered about network performance at this point. When I can afford it I will be getting 1 more and then buy a Vmug Advantage subscription to allow me to use vCenter.

The host goes into a Layer 2 Mikrotik switch where I have various VLANs for WiFi, my Servers, Management etc.

I have a couple of areas I want to play with 1 is iSCSI and the other is getting vMotion ready for when I add the 2nd host. I have been given a Synology DS218+ NAS which has 2 x 4TB drives, I was hoping of using it’s 1GB port for iSCSI and VM backups (I use ghettovcb) and also house some VMs on datastores on there. I guess I could use the spare port or use this for vMotion.

Here are my NICs:

vmnic0 = trunk to switch

vusb0 = WAN port to ISP router which pfSense uses

vusb1 = unused









I have this spare port which is currently a vSwitch called vSwitch-pfLAN, should I use this for vMotion and iScsi or can I use iScsi over vSwitch0 (trunk). As you can see I’m a little limited and wondered if it’s even possible?

I need to create a new VMKernel fpr vMotion, I guess I could use the spare NIC or add the service to the management port? What about iSCSI?


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  1. Please use iSCSI on the dedicated Port. Use vMotion on the default vSwitch with VMnetwork and Management. Please consider that your VM network performance could get really messed up when a VM is vMotioned because it will take much bandwidth.
    This setup is really far away from best practice, but it’s a home lab, so I think this solution fits your needs the best.

  2. Put the vMotion with the VM/management traffic. This is a lab and are you going to be vMotioning SQL servers or Exchange servers while under load? Probably not.

    I wouldn’t advise spending money on 10Gb equipment. Spend it in storage and memory instead. The 1Gb NICs for a lab is fine for a long time. Your NAS doesn’t have SSD from the looks. I would be surprised if it can actually use the full 1Gb for more than maybe a burst. Even with SSDs 1GB will be good.

    Then again collecting hardware can be a hobby of it’s own.

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