2001:db8:1ab:: up & running

The lab is (slowly, I have to admit) turning into an IPv6 only configuration.The first question might be “why would somebody want to do that?” Well, because it’s interesting and the main reason to have a lab anyway. But besides that I think every company should do something like this right now, to test their services and hardware (!) for IPv6 readiness. Now.

The basic setup in my lab is working fine, which means the firewall configuration is done and the local DNS is set up. For a start I’ll be using static IPv6 addresses and keep Router Advertisements and DHCPv6 for later. The NAS box (Debian 7.2) is configured with four interfaces for storage, two in VLAN 24 for iSCSI and two in a LACP setup in VLAN 25 for NFS, everything in a dual stack setup. The Kickstart configuration and scripts are modified as well, although I suppose the PXE boot itself will have to stay with IPv4, there’s no support for IPv6 in the firmware. Continue reading

Choose the right quad port NIC

With vSphere 5.5 VMware has dropped support for some of the hardware enthusiasts like me used in their home lab (which basically means I consider people who spent quite a few bucks for a home lab to be enthusiasts – are you really sending the right message to us, VMware?). I cannot approve that – to me it’s just a bad move to remove drivers for hardware that would otherwise work fine, even if it was not supported. Which basically would just mean you’d be on your own if something would not work, and VMware Support would just tell you that. Nothing to scare a whitebox user away.

Anyway. I had to face the fact that the onboard and additional PCI Realtek NIC of my lab ESXi would be unusable sooner or later, even if an older driver could be injected into the ESXi 5.5 image, as I explained in a previous post. So I decided to find a setup that would provide at least five network interfaces with presumably long term support. Continue reading

Heads up: ESXi 5.5 crashes Linux iscsi_trgt

If you’re running a standard Linux on your homelab storage box with iSCSI (ietd, iscsi_trgt), you need to take some actions before deploying ESXi 5.5 in your environment. It seems the new ESXi release issues some SMART command on iSCSI targets, which hits a bug in iscsi_trgt. I’m using Debian 7.2 on my lab NAS which comes with iscsitarget 1.4.20.2. Once an ESXi 5.5 tried to access an iSCSI LUN, the iSCSI subsystem crashed completely. You’ll see messages like these: Continue reading