A wild dream (#apple #macpro #vmware #virtualization #lab)

I’ve been thinking of something really wild recently, for me at least: replacing my 2017 21.5 inches iMac with a Mac Pro. Here is why.

I work in IT (information technologies) as a data center related technology architect. Server virtualization, storage area networks, networking technologies are at the center of my professional universe. In the coming months, I’ll have to invest in self-training and experimentations a lot around VMware-related products and services. How can I do that efficiently while working from home? Here comes the Mac Pro idea.

In order to be able to run many virtual machines, a powerful physical computer is required: lots of memory, powerful CPU (more than 6 cores) and fast storage. My current iMac doesn’t meet these basic requirements (it is maxed out at 32 GB of RAM and it has a relatively modest CPU). A Mac Pro with the following specs would easily meet the challenge: at least 128 GB of fast memory, 8 cores CPU, builtin SSD and expandability.

Virtualization will required VMware Fusion Pro running on top of macOS. Then, the sky is the limit as I can then install ESXi hypervisor which will allow me to branch into more complex setup. This type of environment do require a lot of memory (a typical VM is about 4-16 GB each) and multi-cores CPU. Installing ESXi directly on the Mac Pro is not an option as I will need to have macOS running for all other tasks (I’m not even sure if it is att all possible).

How do I get there? Well, I’m still thinking about how I’ll buy that machine and get the additional RAM (I won’t go with Apple’s because $$$). Stay tuned.

Technical datasheet can be found on Apple’s website, right here in PDF format. I don’t want to switch to a Windows machine BTW, I’m too much invested in Apple’s ecosystem for that to happen.

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