My home lab configuration

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

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

Hardware

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 ….