My home lab configuration

Beginning of the year I replaced my old home lab (HP ML110 G5) with a new custom configuration.


  • Intel i7-4820K
  • Gigabyte X79-UP4
  • 8 x 8GB Kingston DDR3
  • 250GB Samsung EVO – OS drive
  • 500GB Samsung EVO – virtual machines
  • 6 x 4TB WD Red – Storage space pool
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • VMware Workstation 10


CPU and motherboard was selected by following criterias – 64GB RAM, decent amount of SATA ports and reasonable price. SSD for OS and VMs was obvious choice.  6x4TB was included because I use the same machine to store my media library and backups.

Storage spaces

I created one storage space pool from six 4TB disks. From pool I carved out 16TB parity disk for media library, 2TB parity disk for backups (dedupe enabled) and 4TB striped disk for virtual machines which needed more space then I was able to provide from SSD.

VMware Workstation

I chosed VMware Workstation because of following reasons

  • Easy to run nested hypervisors – ESXi, KVM, HyperV and XenServer
  • Linked clones – feature that allows me to clone from single template a number of similar virtual machines. Saves a lot of space on SSD disk.

What I do with my home lab?

A lot of different things.

  • Hypervisors – ESXi, HyperV, XenServer
  • Windows infrastructure – AD, DNS, File server, etc
  • Linux servers – glusterfs test servers, nagios, cacti, etc
  • Storage appliances – FreeNAS, QuadStor, etc
  • Testing new things
  • and much more ….


Storage reclamation – part 3 – Linux

This is the third post in the “Space reclamation” series focusing on Linux.

Like in Windows and in VMware ESXi also in Linux dead space is left behind when data is removed.

For space reclamation under Linux there is available a Linux version of EMC StorReclaim with same options as Windows version.

EMC StorReclaim

EMC StorReclaim

To get EMC StorReclaim contact your EMC representative.

With newer Linux operating systems there is a native trim operations available to get back unused space. I will write about trim in the future when I have had more time to test it.

If anyone knows more tools that can be used to reclaim space in Linux please let me know in the comments sections.

Other posts in this series:

Storage reclamation – part 1 – VMWare vSphere

Storage reclamation – part 2 – Windows

Storage reclamation – part 4 – Zero fill and array level reclamation