For some time now I have been wanting to tidy up my lab, and all the nested labs that run within. When requirements or needs come up to test scenarios, confirm/validate change steps or satisfy curiosity the lab plays an invaluable role in achieving this. As valuable as it can be, not a lot of time seems to go into looking after it, elements get spun up tests completed and verified and then powered off. This leaves a lot of out dated deployments, deployments taking up storage, storage that could so much better used.

The first step for me to tidy this up, is to, well, I have to document it all. I have taken a couple of steps so far to get a clear understanding of the networks that are configured and VMs that are connected. First things first, any segments or networks that are no longer in use, time for them to go!

I mapped out the networks, I knew that I had a few, I didn’t realise that there were that many! In fact, there are that many networks, it almost makes me want to rip everything out and start from the ground up! That might still happen, I’ll see how carried away I get. For the time being though, below is the network map.

Now I understand what networks I have, I wanted to understand what resided within. At a previous employer I was introduced to an awesome tool, Netbox. For those that have not heard of Netbox or used it before hand I would highly recommend it as your source of truth! You can read about it here with installation details here on GitHub I took a slightly different path with my installation and made use of the Synology NAS and installed Docker. From there I was able to install the following Netbox Docker container

I’m sure that not all the lab networks are fully populated yet with hosts/VMs, but it’s a good way along.

Okay, I have some work to do here! Time to start unpicking some of these environments and freeing up some space.

By the next post I hope to have cleared out all the stagnant environments and VMs and have the lab in a clean position. The Veeam labs for example have not been up and running for a long time – these environments should be treated more transient. Perhaps a script that will power build a fully nested environment for me when the need arrises, similar to that which I use from William Lam. What would be cool, an ansible playbook that deploys a nested vSphere environment and then deploys any components within the nested lab following it’s completed deployment! Okay I am getting a head of myself now, but let’s see where that goes.

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