Solid ESXi Lab Solutions built on Enterprise Technology Infrastructure
In order to provide VMware ESXi clusters in the cloud that function exactly like those running on bare metal hardware, at vmlabs we’ve used a number of different technologies - some that are available in the open source community and some of our own self created technology. The ESXi clusters provided by vmlabs come pre-installed with up to 8 ESXi hosts, the vCenter Appliance and NSX Manager. Hence, you can start configuring and using your cluster in minutes rather than spending hours on a mundane installation process.
vmlabs uses nested virtualization and runs a specially tuned version of the KVM hypervisor. This is run on high performance Cisco UCS hardware running the latest generation Intel CPUs. A number of performance enhancing techniques such as CPU passthrough are used in order to get performance as close as possible to dedicated hardware. Our internal tests show that for compute intensive tasks, a nested ESXi setup running inside vmlabs is approximately 70%- 80% the speed of an equivalent configuration of VMware ESXi running bare metal workloads.
To enable running the advanced networking capabilities of ESXi and NSX, vmlabs has built a network overlay which emulates the operation of a “transparent wire” or a “real network” with VLANs 1 to 4096 available for your use. This is similar to attaching ESXi servers running bare metal attached to a physical switch. You can configure VLANs, VxLANs, custom MAC addresses, static IPs, network appliances and even test an SDN solution.
Vmlabs has built its own storage overlay technology which presents local block devices to the ESXi hosts. This enables you to use this local devices for vSAN, or to configure a virtual storage array of your choice. Our storage uses SSD caching for fast response times. We also provide a pre-created, SSD accelerated NFS data store, so that you can start using your ESXi cluster right away.