Anyway back on topic, the previous two posts touched on Why do we put ourselves through the whole Home Lab headache, what use cases do we see and I listed some that I believe are out there and I am sure you guys have more you can add and then in the second post we touched on the use cases for my home lab and why I do things the way we do, and reading back its like some of the content was actually taken from an executive summary for a customer high level design.
I want to touch on the hardware resources I have today in my lab but also some of the things in my head about expanding this home lab footprint.
SuperMicro 32GB – The best server in the playground, most RAM and best CPU as well as local disk a plenty. This really houses the majority of the home lab for me and in particular my current storage VSAs (However this will change later on) This being a full on 2U rackmount server it’s not too bad on noise and with my rack being in the same office as my WebEx sessions and calls I don’t believe this server affects the quality of audio.
SuperMicro 16GB – Finally we have the second SuperMicro box, only 16GB here and considerably noisier than the big brother shown above. This is outlined or highlighted for nested Hyper-V, System Center and some other niche BETA testing, with it being noisier this cannot be on during the days I am working from home but it does add some extra power to the lab combined system.
All of these hosts run a flavour of VMware vSphere ESXi, in the upcoming posts I will dive deeper into how these look and why these have been configured in this way.
Lots of Direct Attached
MSI has an SSD running the Windows OS as well as the lab virtual machines, there is also a capacity drive not used for anything regarding the home lab.
SuperMicro 32GB = 10TB of spinning rust.
SuperMicro 16GB = 6TB of spinning rust.
HPML110 G7 = 1TB of spinning rust.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS 716 – 5TB of Hybrid disk, capacity tier on SAS and also 2 x SSD
NETGEAR ReadyNAS 312 – 1TB of spinning rust – really used for ISO media and home shares.
Dell 1GB Managed Switch
BT Broadband Router
Linksys Wireless Router
Linksys wireless extender (Living Room)
VMware – courtesy of vExpert
Microsoft – msdn subscription
We always need Moar right, apart from sickness and illness we don’t need any more of that! But anyway as I was building out the above I was starting to see some flaws to this design of mine. Virtual Storage Arrays are taking up more and more resources and in the current configuration, I could run maybe 1 or 2 of these Storage Arrays but it was going to put the hosts quite close to the edge.
In true HomeLab style I was on eBay looking for the next bit of hardware. I wasn’t sure what would cover this requirement but knew it would be on eBay that’s for sure. Apart from the ML110 mentioned above and a few little bits everything else has come from the eBay powerhouse of HomeLabs.
No difference on this occasion I found a SuperMicro 4 node server in a 2U form factor.
Next up I want to walk through more detail on the storage layout and networking. As always thanks for reading and please provide any feedback @MichaelCade1 / @vZillaUK