It's not unusual for someone to take his or her work home but can it be taken too far?

Hats off to VMware consultant Simon Gallagher who has been working on a computing lab in his back garden. Fair enough, a man has to have a hobby but this is a fantastic effort.

The vTardis (great name too) is not just any old home computing project but a serious attempt to show the capabilities of ESX. Just reading the description shows the impressive range of kit - although it's disconcerting to note the level of power consumption £600 to £700 a year (more than most of us spend on our entire home's supply I expect).

But a look at the capabilities is enough to make anyone drool. Not surprisingly it won a award at the recent VMworld event for Best Home Office environment for his effort in going beyond official VMware capability through the use of;"nested VMware ESX" instances, making it seem as if there are many ESX hosts when the entire infrastructure actually sits on one physical box. Gallagher's configuration runs eight virtual ESX hosts and nearly 60 virtual machines on just the one physical server.

What it brought into stark contrast though was how unusual this is, I don't mean in a back garden but within corporate environments. Just how many organisations have any sort of test facility of this level of capability? Very few, I suggest. And how many have the employees who have the time to build something like this at the weekend? Again, there must be very few (although I did once work with someone who had to build an extension to his house to contain all his kit). What's most amazing is that he started this before he started working for VMware.

It's certainly a project that I'm going to keep an eye on in the future, wondering what's going to come next: a VDI project throughout the house? Use of Xsigo to shake up the I/O handling? Who knows - it's a project that certainly leaves most garden sheds in the shade.

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