I was looking to create a home lab for my VMware VSAN tests and finally I came up with my own Home Lab to carry out all my self learning tasks. I was able to build a test lab with few ESXi hosts and successfully configured the VMware VSAN in the Home lab. 
Here what I’m going to show you is creating your own home lab with the limited resources, as an IT Geek you might like to try new things but getting the physical resources to try and test things is a big challenge. I use nested Virtualized ESXi hosts for my VSAN platform and VMware workstation as the Primary hypervisor layer. 
If I bring my setup in to a picture this is how it looks like and all these ESXi hosts are connected to my Windows based vCenter.

VMware recommends 1:10 ratio of SSD : HDD and here we need to fake few VMDKs as SSDs to create the VSAN cache. This is a must and you can find my old post to tag non-ssd disks as ssd disks here.
First of all install VMware Workstation and setup your virtual network as per your requirement and Deploy your nested ESXi Hosts. 
I use 1 x 10 GB SSD and 1 x 40 GB HDD for each and every server. Also 2 network adapters to configure dedicated VSAN network in my virtual environment. 
Here is sample of my hardware specification and I’m using few HDDs and network adapters for my other requirements. 
In my case I have setup few physical hosts together to get the relevant resources and you need to configure your VMware Workstation Network settings accordingly. 

Setting up the Virtual Networks and Up links

Go to edit and select “Virtual Network Editor..” 

Once you get the “Virtual Network Editor” Window click on “Change Settings” button and it will pop up an Administration privileges to run the Application and allow it to run as an Administrator.

Then click on “Add Network…” button to setup the Virtual network and select the Virtual network which you going to use I’m using “VMnet10” for all my Physical hosts. Click on “OK” to continue
In the next step select your VMnet and Bridge it to your Physical Network adapter. It will act here as a Uplink port to your VMware Workstation. 
Now you are all set with the Network connectivity and Do the same config if you have any other Physical computer in your lab. 
Note: This VMnet should be the same for all the hosts and If you use only one Physical server this Bridge Configuration is not required and you can use “Host Only” or NAT (To share the same Physical IP) options in the Virtual Network Editor section. 

Setting up the Storage and Hard Disks

To tag your Non-SSD disks as SSD disks. You can follow my post and I will give you the steps in brief here.

SSH in to your Nested ESXi server and follow the below steps

  1. Type “esxcli storage core device list” , check the SSD status (Is SSD:false)
  2. Type “esxcli storage nmp device list” , get the device ID and storage array type
  3. Type “esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s <your storage array type> –device <device id> –option=enable_ssd”
  4. Type “esxcli storage core claiming unclaim –type device –device <device id> 
  5. Type “esxcli storage core claimrule load”
  6. Type “esxcli storage core claim rule run” 

Check the “esxcli storage core device list” out put and check the disk status and It will show the SSD status as “Is SSD:true” also you can see the disk as SSD in your vSphere Client.

That’s all now you can play with your own VMware lab. 

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