Home lab – Part 2

Hi all,

So, part two of the blog series about my home lab was intended to be about installing Nutanix Community Edition, but because of my choice to go with an AMD Ryzen CPU that wasn’t possible since AMD isn’t a supported CPU for Nutanix.

It was possible to bypass the CPU checks and get Nutanix CE installed, but running any Microsoft OS newer that Windows Server 2008 R2 wasn’t possible. I did get a 2008 R2 server running and a new Ubuntu server, but that doesn’t really suit what I need in a home lab so I had to find something else to run my home lab.

The next thing I tried was to install Citrix XenServer 7.1. XenServer installed just fine and I could also install Windows Server 2016 without any issues. After creating my domain controller and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) server I thought it was time to get my Citrix NetScaler imported so I could do some remote access to the home lab. The import of the VPX appliance went without any issues, but the configuration failed from the start. I could not get passed the getting started wizard. I tried with three different versions of the NetScaler VPX, two 11.1 versions and one 10.5 all got stuck at the license step. I couldn’t upload a license and nor was it possible to skip the step and do it later. So once again I needed to find something else to run my home lab.

The obvious next step was to install VMware ESXi 6.5 on the server so that is what I did. The install went smooth and first thing I tried after it was up and running was to test out the NetScaler VPX appliance. This time everything went well with the import and configuration so I thought I was home safe with running VMware for a bit. Next step with the VMware setup was to get a domain controller up and running, but here is where the next odd thing shows up. Installation of Windows Server with client mapped ISO was slow so I aborted that after 20 mins where the installation still wasn’t completed. I then tried to upload the ISO to the datastore but this was also slow and failed at 73% and a reboot of the host didn’t give a new result. I then decided to upload the ISO with WinSCP and that went fast but the installation of Windows Server 2016 still takes over 1 hour to completed on a SSD disk.

Thinking about all the issues and bumps I have seen over the last four days, it seems that my new home lab server just isn’t up for the job. It might change if any of the hypervisors gets support of the Ryzen CPU, but given that it is a consumer CPU I won’t hold my breath for that.

For now, I think I will make the Ryzen a gamer PC for my kids and then get a new motherboard and CPU for the home lab sometime after Citrix Synergy. Maybe a good night sleep with get me to try and return the Ryzen CPU and the motherboard, and if so I will keep you posted.


2 thoughts on “Home lab – Part 2”

  1. Hi Martin,

    I would recommend sticking with Intel CPU’s even for home labs as they are widely supported across all hypervisors. Especially where Nutanix CE is concerned, as you found out the hard way. Many known good configurations of CE are available on the Next Community site as well. Hope your next experience is a good one, if you need help with the NetScaler reach out on the Next Community as well if you get a new lab server. We have people that have configured it and our CTP’s can help as well.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the comment. I will get a Intel CPU for the home lab and get Nutanix up and running. What I did see there looked awesome so need to get my hand dirty and test it end-to-end and write my review here.

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