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Virtualization Holiday Shopping List

As a blogger, I have a particular challenge to work with a lot of technologies that extend beyond my primary responsibility. To me, this is an opportunity to extend my skill set to many other segments of the larger IT space. To do this, I need to provide an infrastructure to support this effort in my private lab.

Currently my private lab has two servers, a handful of workstations, an ioSafe fireproof hard drive for select backups, a few networks and power protection. One is a newer HP ProLiant server and the other is an older generic server. Both are capable of running all of the virtualization platforms that make a great environment to evaluate a number of products.

Since the blogging activity has matured for me, I've made it a point to make my primary holiday gift something to boost the infrastructure in the private lab. Last year it was the newer ProLiant server. Neither of the servers have a Nehalem series processor, so one option is to get an additional server to take advantage of this new processor. The other candidate for my private lab is storage-related. I have frequently used the Openfiler as a virtual machine for much of the shared storage activities in the private lab. For most of my VMware blogging research, I take advantage of the ESX on ESX practice. But, I can not yet do that practice for Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer.

With that, I've decided that I will be purchasing a shared storage device. Luckily, I know just what to buy. During Tech Field Day last month, I had an opportunity to see a Drobo Pro unit from Data Robotics. Select Drobo models offer iSCSI connectivity, allowing me to utilize my beloved VMFS file system.

I mentioned in an earlier blog how the Drobo would be a great device for test storage, which is where I will be doing my holiday shopping this year. That's the easy decision; now, which model should I purchase? There are two new Drobo models, one which would work for my application. The new DroboElite unit continues all of the exciting features of the product line, including BeyondRAID which allows mixed drive sizes and makes, automatic resizing of arrays and file content awareness. The DroboPro is also an option as well.
I've got some decisions to make, but am very excited to be purchasing the unit later this month. It may sound a little much for the private lab, but I take my virtualization pursuit seriously.

Are you purchasing any fun items this year to help advance your virtualization journey? Share your wish list here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 12/08/2009 at 12:47 PM


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