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 ….



5 thoughts on “My home lab configuration

  1. Hi Kalle,

    What issues have you encountered since you built your Home Lab? I am about to build a lab with the same specs as you have used and will be used for Vsphere, NSX and some network virtual appliances. There are not too many whiteboxes out there with i7-4820K, thats why i am asking if your build works fine. Some Advice would be appreciated.

  2. Hi!

    With this motherboard do you have any problem with VT-D, and vga passthrough pci-e devices?


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