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  • Writer's pictureJD Wallace

Use your vSphere HomeLab to help fight Coronavirus

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

Hopefully you saw the recent announcement that through the Pure Good Foundation Pure Storage has donated a FlashBlade to help Folding@home fight Coronavirus. If not, it's worth a read, but here is an excerpt:

“By greatly expanding our storage capacity and separating it from compute, we’re able to focus our compute resources on making sense of the massive amounts of data coming in from Folding@home,” said Greg Bowman, Director, Folding@home. “Importantly, the FlashBlade will allow us to operate on data from Folding@home in place. It’s as if FlashBlade was purpose built for our mission.”

Source: [Folding@home blog] Pure Storage Contributes to our Fight Against Coronavirus August 20, 2020

Let's join the Puritan Team and put some of those spare vSphere #HomeLab resources to use by contributing to the Folding@home project.

The easiest way to get up and running, is to leverage the VMware Appliance for Folding@Home Fling which is just downloaded as an OVA.

Deploy the OVA and pick the deployment options appropriate for your lab.

Once you get to step 8, you'll want to make some customizations.

Give your VM a proper hostname and provide network settings.

By default the Fling will use the Team VMware F@H ID. I'm going to change that to the ID for the Puritan Team and yes, you can join too!

F@H Puritan Team ID: 266972

I also modified the F@H Remote Management Allowed Networks to permit me to connect from the FAHControl app running on my laptop. More about this later.

That's it! Finish deploying the VM and run it. You're now contributing to the Folding@home project.

Note: I had to edit my VM settings and reduce the number of CPUs to match the capability of my ESX host.

Now, let's install the FAHControl app to monitor what's happening. I'll be downloading the Mac version, but there are versions for Linux and Windows as well.

Start by heading over to and download the installer.

When you get to the Installation Type section, select Customize.

Now deselect the FAHClient. That's the software that actually does the work. We don't need it here because it's running in our lab. We just want the Viewer and Control software.

Once the installation is complete, run the FAHControl app. You'll need to connect to the FAHClient running on your VM. Do this by clicking the "+ Add" button and then fill in the Name, IP Address of your VM, and F@H Remote Management Password you set above.

Note: If you didn't change the default Remote Management Password it is VMware1!.

Congrats! You're now part of the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, and you're using that computational power to help understand SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and develop new therapies. If you decided to join the Puritan Team, you can see our team stats here.

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