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Home Lab's what have you got?

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by faxfan, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. faxfan


    Joined: Jun 22, 2013

    Posts: 468

    Location: Zomerset (Glastonbury)

    Had a proud moment yesterday in my home lab build, all the hardware is fairly basic - Intel i5 NUC (do have a threadripper rig but it's not exactly power efficient!) and Draytek router are important bits of hardware.

    Built up an AD, Exchange 2016 and Skype for Business 2015 environment. Finally got around to finding a "good" SIP trunk provider (Gamma - ~£90 setup, ~£9 a month for two trunks and 10 DDI's) and installing Audiocodes Mediant gateway (virtualized edition - which is free for 3 concurrent calls!!) and got inbound and outbound calls working.

    Next step is to setup the SfB conferencing, outlook integration, external access and endpoints (Polycom vvx, SNOM and Spectralink DECT).

    Really enjoyed setting it all up, albeit with some swear words thrown in.

    What you got?
  2. Throrik


    Joined: Sep 15, 2009

    Posts: 1,223

    Location: Manchester

    I used to have an entire rack, R710s, Cisco switches etc but now I just have a PC with a load of RAM, some Storage and an Azure lab these days as my main focus is large VMWare/Azure environments. I kind of miss the days of doing my own home stuff, but I also get to work on interesting enough stuff in production.

    When I did, I had a multi-domain environment, Lync, Exchange, stacked switches, multi-area OSPF labs etc to learn and understand various concepts. Probably going to get a decent little VMWare lab set up on a bunch of NUCs though to study for my VCAP and to possibly side-track and get the VCP-NX as well as we're utilising that more these days.
  3. Vince

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 30, 2003

    Posts: 7,169

    Location: Essex

    Just got a single 1950x rig with 25 or so tb of storage, some nvme's, 64gb of ram, I use a fortigate 30e, avaya 1608i handset with h323 over ipsec to work. I sometimes offload parts of the infrastructure at work into an offline esxi environment for testing and upgrades so can have anything from just a few machines to almost an entire domain.
  4. BlizzardX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 2,194

    Location: Auckland, New Zealand

    I have 2 x R710s, 1 SM x8DTE and 1 SM X8DTL as a SAN running xpenology and the RAID F1 setup. I also have a Dell 1920w UPS protecting them all. Interconnected with Unifi switches

    The R710s and X8DTEs are vmhosts in a cluster with ESXi 6.5, running various windows and linux servers

    Power consumption is in the region of 500w with a xeon e3 based gaming pc connected to the UPS, all rack mounted and away from the house in the garage.

    Looking to change the R710s to much lower power devices but I need the high memory support and IPMI which is a little annoying as DDR4 is expensive and DDR3 based E3s or E5s are not as low power as I want. I'm looking at Avoton atom cores, low power and up to 64GB DDR3 ECC as possible replacements as my cpu usage on the 710s is generally 20% or so on single L5630s.
  5. agw_01


    Joined: Apr 11, 2004

    Posts: 19,346

    I've sold a lot of my rack servers recently, namely IBM x35/3650 M1s as they were just sitting around unused. Stripped it down to just a single HP DL380 G7 with dual E5620s and 64GB RAM. Also ripped out a Cisco 3750PS and 2960G and replaced with a single 3750G with integrated 4400 WLC, running a couple of Cisco 1242 APs.

    ECI VDSL modem and ASA 5520 sit on the edge of the network and I'm also running CallManager (trial license) with 7961/7911 IP phones and a Cisco 2901 router acting as a PSTN voice gateway.

    I have a Synology NAS for my CCTV and a HP Microserver running FreeNAS but have very recently built myself a machine based around a SuperMicro X8DTE-F board, dual Xeon 5650s and 128GB RAM. I've installed 2 HBAs, a Dell Perc H700 to run 4x 10K SAS disks for VMs and an LSI 2008 passed through to a FreeNAS VM for mass storage. The plan is to eventually replace the DL380 and Microserver with a one box server.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  6. memyselfandi


    Joined: Oct 10, 2005

    Posts: 8,379

    Location: Nottingham

    DL380 G7 and a couple HP Gen8 Microservers all running as ESX hosts (with another gen8 microserver acting as a Docker host). Three QNAP NASes providing storage and various bits of Ubiquiti kit providing networking. Oh and three old Mac Minis acting as a Kubernetes cluster (just to play with).

    Unless I'm actually doing something then I normally just have one Microserver and the NASes (and network kit) running.

    Next addition is a UPS.
  7. LizardKing


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,498

    Location: The Land of Roundabouts

    these days its little more than a desktop running a few VM's everything else is in my Azure MSDN account or free tiers of AWS. Networking aside investing in on-prem just doesnt seem worthwhile anymore.
  8. memyselfandi


    Joined: Oct 10, 2005

    Posts: 8,379

    Location: Nottingham

    AWS/Azure/GCP are all good if you are doing things which can be done on their provided OS images (which aren't great security wise in a lot of cases) and I do have some Ansible scripts on one of my management VMs which allow me to spin up and manage systems on AWS if necessary but unfortunately my work currently requires me to do a lot of work with OS builds, e.g. with kickstarts, which means that I cannot do them on those platforms.
  9. [Darkend]Viper

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,339

    Location: Bamber Bridge

    Well got a Dell R710 with 2x x5650s and 48gb ram which is barely turned on, and a HP DL380 G7 with 2x x5660s and 60gb ram. Both are only powered on when testing MDT mainly at the moment, but also have some FC san that connects to bo which isn't used massively as it's power draw it's about 500 watt for 2 2u shelves full of 2.5" spinning disks. Also got a Dell 2950 which lives at work as a test bench for new builds and testing. Got various switches, 1 Dlink 28 port POE Gig, 1 procurve 2650, 1 procurve 2824 and a procurve 2848. All came from ebay and dearest thing was the dell r710 at £174.

    Currently want to try and setup a thin client system at home where kids and missus can each have their own laptop and everything centrally backed up as i've gone through 5 laptops in 7 years with kids and missus. Buy cheap ones of ebay and they're slow so looking at a thin client solution but time seems to get less and less everyday
  10. Wizzkidy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 25, 2003

    Posts: 1,562

    x2 DL380 G8's running ESXi 6.5
    x2 3750 Cisco Switches
    x1 Freenas with 60TB of spinning disk space spilt over 3 RAID Groups for NFS shares. +2TB of SSD space in RAID <- datastore here
    x1 Equallogic PS4000 - more datastore for ESXi
    x4 DL380 G7's in a separate cluster

    and some other stuff, full 48U rack in basement, bit overkill but I like messing about
  11. BongoHunter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 14, 2014

    Posts: 1,297

    I got rid of my older rackmount stuff and now use:

    Threadripper 1950x with 64GB of RAM with 2 raid arrays (1 NVME array and then a SATA SSD array) + an extra NVME drive for OS / Apps. I use this mainly for development work and running VMs that used to be on my old servers. There's also a quad port Intel NIC in this machine.

    A FreeNas box with 32 GB of RAM (ECC), I've got 4 HDDs in this, and 4 SSDs, this is mainly used for backups and for VM storage, has a quad port Intel NIC for the moment (hoping to upgrade to 10GB network in the future)

    An i5 NUC with 16GB RAM that's used for webscraping and other random stuff that needs to run 24/7

    An i5 Mac mini with 16GB RAM that runs Jenkins and GitLab

    The FreeNAS and NUC are on a UPS

    Use TPLink switches in my network.

    Hoping to ditch the NUC and MacMini soon and replace with a Xeon E server, and I'm going to add a low power PFSense physical box soon too, but will want an extra UPS before I do that ideally.

    I do miss having my old enterprise gear all racked up in the office, but it burnt way more power and made too much noise, and though I have less memory now than I used to, the threadripper box with NVME storage is much faster than 2 servers it replaced in terms of CPU power and disk IO
  12. Pigeon_Killer


    Joined: Nov 21, 2005

    Posts: 31,068

    1 x Windows 10 PC, with an i5, 16GB RAM, 2 x 256GB SSD and 1 x 1TB HD running nested Hyper-V and multiple VMs, including a VYOS virtual router. Use the same PC for gaming and general use.

    It's basic, cheap to run but does exactly what I want.

    Currently looking to upgrade to an i9-9900k with 32GB and more HD space. Would prefer a Ryzen CPU but MS still haven't enabled nested Hyper-V for AMD processors :(
  13. MrWhippy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 15, 2005

    Posts: 1,334

    Got a HP Proliant DL360 G7 sat in the garage, switched on but doing nothing since I migrated all my home media needs to a Hetzner cloud instance.
    Bought it a while back to learn some server and networking but once I got past the basics it rapidly became a big noisy plex box.
    Really ought to switch it off, bring it in the house, hoover out any dust and flog it off.
    Not sure I can face the hassle of ebay though.
  14. RSR


    Joined: Aug 17, 2006

    Posts: 8,430

    I currently run a Dell T640 and its been quiet a impressive little beasty which runs VMware ESXi 6.7U1.
  15. the-evaluator

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 24, 2015

    Posts: 1,395

    Nothing too exciting here. An HP Microserver Gen 8 running ESXi 6.0 with a Synology DS1813+ connected over iSCSI for additional storage.

    It's working well but the server is limited to 16Gb RAM and the Synology storage is very far from being the fastest.
  16. Hellsmk2


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 4,254

    I have an ancient ML110 that has been happily running for 5 or 6 years on ESXi 6.0 - it's just running the basics for my home network; AD and a couple of linux servers (Nextcloud and PiHole). I don't need anything else and don't want my home life to resemble my work life.
  17. memyselfandi


    Joined: Oct 10, 2005

    Posts: 8,379

    Location: Nottingham

    Actually the above isn't quite correct as I forgot I normally have another gen8 microserver running, which is a docker host, as well. Added a Ups since the post which was a bit overkill (runs at about 25% load) and upgraded the Dl380 from 32GB to 128GB as well as boosting its storage to make it a lot more useful (its still not on all the time but when I was using it yesterday it was pulling 125W).

    On the cloud front I've been playing with Terraform with AWS which allows me to spin up (and destroy) entire environments quickly, easily and repeatable whilst limiting costs to when they are in use only.
  18. Jamauk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 16, 2004

    Posts: 1,684

    Location: Oxford

    Currently got a HG612 for the EE FTTC going to a USG V3 (something I'll upgrade when necessary), Ubiquiti 24x250w downstairs for the Dell T20, which runs WHS2011 (old but it works) for 24TB of file storage (through DriveBender),16GB memory as that's the most for WHS and run off a 128GB SSD, BlueIris for CCTV, DSL stats, Qbittorrent, Unifi controller software and used as a tftp server for Cisco phones, Logitech media server and Plex. Alongside this there is a HP N40 running Asterisk, with 8GB RAM & 1TB HDD and has a card for DHADI for the Openreach EE line and a couple of Sipgate VoIP lines, runs as an IVR on the SIP lines and connects to the Cisco phones and some Gigaset IP cordless. Connected to the switch a few UniFi Pro AP, Cisco phones and some 8 port Ubiquiti PoE switches to other rooms. With the USG there are no open ports and so the only way to connect remotely is through VPN.

    Over to the garage (external building) there is a Ubiquiti 8 port PoE switch for five Foscam cameras, a Cisco phone and an old HP micro server running the original WHS for file backup with MS Synctoy running daily as a scheduled task from a batch file.

    Upstairs there is another 24 port 250w Ubiqiti switch in the attic for a few more Foscam cameras, a couple more Cisco phones.

    All the connected media devices (TV, Blu-Ray, AV amp), Phones, CCTV cameras, WHS server are on a number of separate VLANs to block access to the internet, Nest smoke alarms and LightwaveRF are on a couple more VLANs to only allow internet access.

    Quite the project I know with frequent changes/modifications but it's all a learning project and whilst a lab it was far easier to deploy throughout the house. Been difficult at times, but that has just helped with the learning.
  19. mrbell1984


    Joined: Aug 9, 2008

    Posts: 19,865

    Location: UK

  20. Armageus


    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 9,570

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire


    Original Raspberry Pi B currently running PiHole and CUPS (Print Server for my USB only printer)

    10zig Thin Client (Dual core 1.33ghz atom, 8GB Ram, 128GB msata ssd) running ESXi 6.7 - fanless and draws a maximum of 6 Watts! - will be moving PiHole here as well as setting up some VM's and playing about with Docker for a SteamCache / WebProxy.
    (Ghetto insulation tape mod on the power button, as the power light otherwise burns your retina from half way across the room - not ideal when it's in my bedroom!)

    Netgear 8 port switch (running off the same 12v psu as the 10zig, via a 4 way 2.1mm splitter)

    HP Microserver N36L - in the process of rebuilding this, as had been sat under my desk unused for 2 years. Have fitted a Gentle Typhoon 120mm fan, a Seasonic SS-250SU PSU (which is silent, and more efficient than the original psu), upgraded to 4GB ECC Ram (may go to 8GB for FreeNAS/ZFS). With 2x 500Gb disks, this currently draws a maximum of 36 Watts, 20 with the disks spun down.
    Currently running Xpenology 5.2, but not sure what it will be running long term. Ideally want it to become my main data storage for photos etc, which will then be backed up to USB drive + some form of cloud backup.