AutoLab is a free tool for building a vSphere lab environment on a single pc or server. Developed by vExpert Alastair Cooke, AutoLab uses some slick automation to let you build (and rebuild) your lab quickly and easily. Infinio is proud to be sponsoring the ongoing development of AutoLab, which is used by many in the virtualization community for learning and testing.
Many people use AutoLab to help them prepare for their VCP and VCAP-DCA certifications, because they can get hands-on experience with vSphere right in their laptop or desktop pc (or Mac). You can take your lab with you, and experiment all you want. If you need to start over, AutoLab lets you rebuild your lab quickly without a lot of fuss.
AutoLab provides a toolkit of VMs and automation that you install on any pc with at least 8GB of memory and a new-ish processor. The lab itself runs in VMs under VMware Workstation, Fusion, or ESXi (you need to supply the evaluation licenses and installers for vSphere and Windows).
The installed lab contains two ESXi servers, a FreeNAS storage appliance, a router, plus Windows Domain Controller and Windows Virtual Center.
Image: AutoLab / professionalvmware.com
With AutoLab installed you can run VMs on the ESXi servers, work with vSphere networking, use PowerShell and VCLI, practice upgrades, and more.