vSAN is here from few years now, i already worked on it and i don’t take risk to say that’s a powerful technology.
I’m not really an expert on this topic and i want to go further, but as you may know, vSAN need “important” hardware. This solution, in my humble opinion, become nice to lab on it if you have at least SSDs and NICs dedicated to it.
NUC is for me one best solution to have your home lab, low footprint, low electrical consumption and really low noise, but you have drawback : my version is limited to 16 GB each and only one NIC adapter.
Regarding NIC adapter a solution exist, not really expensive and i think really nice : USB3 to ethernet adaptor.
You can purchase those adapter here on amazon.
One of the most famous blogger in the virtualisation game wrote an article AND create an ESXi driver to use an USB3 adaptor with your ESXi : https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2016/11/usb-3-0-ethernet-adapter-nic-driver-for-esxi-6-5.html
Everything is detailed on his article, but below the task to follow :
- Copy the VIB driver (download it here) on your datastore trought the web UI
- Connect on SSH to your host, put this host in maintenance if you don’t want to smash any VMs.
- Copy the vib from your datastore with the “cp” command (show in screenshot below)
- Install the vib with the command : esxcli software vib install -v /vghetto-ax88179-esxi65.vib -f
- Disable the USB driver : esxcli system module set -m=vmkusb -e=FALSE
- Reboot your ESXI
After the reboot you’ll see a new NIC in your physical adapter :
To finish here the physical view of my setup now :