VMware vCloud “In A Box” for Your Home Lab

Physical Host Networking Setup:

The physical host was installed with ESXi 4.1 with basic vSwitch networking initially.  I elected to configure both physical NIC’s as a LAG’s to simply the physical connectivity due to all of the virtual networking.  Below you can see the port groups configured and highlighted is VLAN 4095.  This is a key VLAN becuase the “Virtual” ESX VM’s will use this to see all the same VLAN’s as the physical to fully mimic a true VLAN network configuration.  If you don’t do this you will have to add multiple NIC’s to each Virtual ESX server to access the port groups.  This gets a little confusing so after playing with it I decided to go the 4095 route which works perfectly.  Also pictures is the vSwitch security settings.  for all the follow on nested ESX virtual machines to work and boot up nested VM’s on them as well as access the networks.  This is a key limitation that makes this not well suited for production networks.

Physical ESX Networking

ESX Physical Security Settings

ESX Physical Network Configuration

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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