VMware vCloud “In A Box” for Your Home Lab


This outlines the configuration I personally used for installing setting up a lab based “vCloud in a box” for testing and understanding of all the vCloud components. This setup can be done almost 100% virtually with a single physical server hosting all the components.  Parts of the configuration are unsupported by VMware for production as well as on certain platforms, however almost all of it works for training and testing purposes with limited hardware.  Although this can be done on other platforms the storage and servers used here were IOMEGA and DELL.  The Switch was Netgear GS742TR routing switche although many others at least support VLAN tagging just not routing functions.  I assume the reader has knowledge and expertise already with setting up switches, VLANs, routing, as well as vSphere.  If you do not require full routing functions portions of this can be changed as needed.  The components and configurations listed here are what I used to build my implementation, but you can use some of the information to adapt to your needs.  I will have to assume knowledge exists to create the VLAN’s, setup routing as well as other network items.  If that needs to be detailed I can always update this post later.

Server Hardware Used:

  • Dell T310 or similar
  • 1 Socket Quad Core Processor (More are optional)
  • At least 20GB of RAM
  • Four internal Hard Drives RAID1 Pairs for many of the Management VM’s
  • DRAC
  • Two Gigabit NIC connections

Networking Hardware Used:

  • GS724TR Gigabit Routing Switch
  • Cisco RV042 Internet Gateway
  • VLAN routing configured between only a few VLAN’s listed below

Storage Hardware Used:

  • EMC ix-400d 4TB storage (Supports NFS and iSCSI and is VMware Certified)
  • Local VMFS on the Physical Host
  • Network based storage (NFS)
  • iSCSI VMFS Volumes

Software Used:

  • Windows 2008 x64
  • CentOS (Unsupported for vCD)
  • VMware vSphere vCenter
  • VMware vSphere ESXi 4.1
  • VMware vCloud Director 1.0 (includes VMware vShield Edge)
  • VMware vShield Manager 4.1 (Virtual Appliance)
  • VMware vCenter Chargeback 1.5
  • VMware vCenter Management Appliance 4.1 (Virtual Appliance and Optional to Manage ESXi from command line
  • Check out the Service Accounts post as well

Port Group VLAN’s Used:

  • 100 – Primary “Production” Network
  • 110 – Servers
  • 120 – ESX Direct NAS Access
  • 130 – ESX VMotion
  • 140 – ESX FT
  • 150 – Guest Internet Only
  • 160 – View Desktops
  • 170 – Load Balanced Network
  • 180 – vCloud Internal Routable Network (Used inside vCloud)
  • 4095 – Custom VMware VLAN for passthrough of all VLAN’s

Visio Diagram (Newly Added):

vCloud In A Box Logical Visio Diagram

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Very nice write-up. I’ll be doing something very similar soon and this will come in quite handy for sure.

  2. Chris,

    i’m going to buy some equipment to build my home lab.. I’m looking at motherboards that have dual socket should i spend the extra bucks for the second processor? My work loads will be vCloud director, Capacity IQ, SQL, ORACLE, vmware view and file server(and some VDI machines for the wife and kid). I also want to use this setup to demo products ad hoc for customer… thoughts?

    • If I were to do it again I would have gone dual socket, only because the operations on all the nested ESXi servers for imports and VM deployments has started to spike up CPU. However when those operations are done it drops done but consistently runs 25% on the single socket with all the VMs running at idle

  3. Can you post on how you sized your VMs? (oracle, vESX, etc)

    • Yes I can do that in a couple weeks. I owe an update to this since I added N-1 in my lab to maintain vCD 1.0.1 and 1.5 plus I added vCO, etc. So I have had on my to do list getting an updated post out 🙂

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