Deploying Tanzu in my homelab has been something I have been wanting to do for a while, for the longest time however, the effort to get it deployed and figure out the networking components seemed too big an obstacle…..and procrastination. Earlier, this year I decided I was going to do it no matter how long it took. Between learning the various technologies, troubleshooting networking issues(there were quite a few), and documenting everything, not to mention professional/personal time, I drastically underestimated how long this process would last.

I will say throughout it all, it has been(mostly) fun learning the tech and digging into issues I don’t normally get to experience. I hope this series of posts may take the edge off of the deployment for others, and allow them an easier entry into Tanzu in their Homelab.

My main source of reference material has been the Tanzu Quickstart guide. This will be evident in some sections as I follow it fairly strictly. My main point of divergence from the Quickstart guide is on the networking sections and setup. My homelab is fairly small, and with some of the issues I experienced, I needed to make a number of adjustments.  Although the quickstart guide is geared toward small environments, it isn’t exclusively directed toward homelabs. My hope this focus on Tanzu in Homelabs will be beneficial as a resource for others trying to do the same.

Understanding My Homelab

To understand my plan for this Tanzu Homelab, it is important to understand what my current homelab looks like.

  • 1 x Asus RT-AX88U Router
  • 1x Intel Core i7-10710U 6-Core NUC Mini PC with 64 GB RAM
  • 1 x Synology 412+
  • A few Rpis(which won’t be used here)

*Looks around*

Yeah, that’s it.

I don’t have a small rack with networking equipment and servers in my basement or garage. Nothing against it, and props to those who do have that equipment. I just don’t.

My NUC has Ubuntu as the OS with VMware Workstation installed. On Workstation are 2 embedded ESXi servers and my vCenter.  My Synology hosts a couple of ISCSI shares which the ESXi hosts use.

My network is flat. There are not multiple subnets and VLANs for no other reason than my router doesn’t support it. With Tanzu requiring a minimum of 2 networks(Management and Workload) this is the first hurdle to overcome.

Some Planning

My management network is as one might expect, I am just using my home network. This is the network where all my devices currently reside, and I don’t have a strong reason not to use this as the management network for Tanzu

After doing some digging, I found PFSense was probably going to be my best bet for deploying my second network. I deployed PFsense as a VM on my cluster, and have it act as a gateway or router to my Workload subnet. This means I will need to provide my home router with a static route for traffic to be able to get to the Workload subnet.

My very small homelab is not a good fit for NSX, so I will use HAProxy as the Load Balancer for Tanzu. I had a number of issues getting HAProxy routing correctly when deployed in the two nic configuration. After much troubleshooting and never truly getting it to work correctly, I ended going with the 3 Nic deployment for HAProxy.

I also deployed a small linux server, Ubuntu in this case, to my workload subnet. This assisted me in troubleshooting from the Workload subnet side when I couldn’t necessarily trust my settings on PFSense or HAProxy. However, this is not required for this deployment, and I won’t be going over it.

With these changes and deviations from the Quickstart guide in mind, let’s start our deployment with some of the easier deployment components. Storage Policies and the Content Library