Welcome to my HomeLab! This has been a lab that has been kicking around my home for the last 7 years, and boy does it have a story now.

Just a quick note: So I am sure that I will be adding to this as I progress through this rabit hole. In an effort to capture my thoughts exactly a year ago, I though I would share my this prior to the final setup. Initially it was written as a guide for people to to have a bit of a story of what they are getting into, but that kind of didn’t end up happeneing either way. What can I say, I got busy.

HomeLab 0.01 (Before)

HomeLab 1.0

HomeLab 1.0 (My plan all together)

The old setup..

Within my office, I have a constant 56 - 60dB of noice level constantly. Want to know what that sounds like? It’s not to bad, but.. 5years, 24x7 days a week.

Sounds

dB

With all of this gear running, temperature becomes a factor as well. On the very hostest days of summer, the last thing you want to have happen is your gear fail because of the extreme levels of heat, not too mention the environment your creating because of this doesn’t appeal as a nice office space either.

So what was I actually running?

  • 3x Dell PowerEdge R710
    • CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5640 @ 2.67GHz Dual CPU) 4 Cores, 8 Threads.
    • Memory: 72GB (DDR3 1333Mhz) M393B5273CH0-YH9
    • HDD: 6x Seagate (DELL BRANDED) ST3300657SS 2TB SAS Drives  *8TB of usable space, with 2 disk failure.
  • PSU: 2x 870W Power Supply - Hot Swapable
  • iDrac6 Enterprise
  • 2x HP Z220 CMT Workstation
    • CPU:  Intel Xeon E3-1225 V2 @ 3.20GHz
    • Memory: 32GB DDR3 1600MHz
    • HDD: 4TB JBOD
    • PSU: 400W Power Supply
    • *One of these boxes is a dedicated TV Tuner box (8 dual TV tuners running)
  • 3x Ubiquiti 24Port Switches (Non-POE)
  • 3x Ubiquiti AP AC-Lite
  • Ubiquiti USG 3Port
  • Ubiquiti Cloud Key
  • 2x Ubiquiti PowerBeam AC (Gen2)
  • Dell KVM 2321DS
  • Dell PowerVault TL2000
  • Synology NAS DS215j - Loaded with 4TB with redunacy
  • 2x Dell PowerConnect 5424 24Port
  • 2x Dell PowerConnect 6224 24Port
  • Cisco Catalyst 3560-E Series

So yeah, 7 years and all of the above has been collected. But now with security bigger then ever, its time to stop using these things that cannot operate without the use of Java.

The Plan

Rule #1: “If it takes longer then two hours to configure or troubleshoot it, it does not get used”

Rule #1:

I think its very important, especially now-days that “work” does not take up all of your life. Having a daughter and a wife to also spend time with is important as well. So in saying that Rule #1 comes into play. The equipment that I pick to replace the above needs to not be an epic master piece to setup, but also has to be something that can be easily maintained and not take an entire day to sort out.

Death (yeah the dead kind):

Another thing that also needs to be a consideration is, if the worst was to happen - you get hit by a bus, etc, etc - what is the deadman switch? Is there a way that your partner can get the family photos, or the import documents off the equipment without needing to be at the same level of skill set as yourself? *This is for sure another good topic to talk about in another post rather than here, so stay tuned for the future post. 

Power

Power, ah power. At the moment, my quarterly power bill in australia costs me about $800-1000 depending on seasonal scenarios, Winter, Summer etc. That’s alot of money. Although I knew this going into the whole HomeLab scene, I think its something that alot of people overlook. The whole rush of getting this gear into the home and playing with it, and eventually getting production applications running to a point where you have no choice but to run the gear. I have learnt SO much with this gear, however its no longer a need to run this stuff when there are more power efficient options out there.

Space

Finally space, I don’t know about you, but I had a half sized server rack running with some of this gear in it. But man, the space and cables this takes up is incredible. I have worked in a few data center’s and comms rooms to know this, but until you experience this in your home… its something your brain needs to see - or it could be just me. But ideally I want to consolidate, there is a lot of LARGE gear that I’m using that doesn’t need to be large. Alot of excess heat, and a noise that can also go.