My Home Lab

The topic of home labs is a popular one lately with several people talking about it on their blogs or twitter.  They are one of the best learning tools that you can have, especially if you are a hands-on learner or just want to try out the latest technology.  I’ve had some form of a home lab since I graduated from college in 2005 and has ranged in size from an old desktop running a Windows Server domain controller to the multi-device environment that I run today. 

It’s taken me a few years to build up to where I am today, and most of my equipment is good enough to keep my wife happy that I’m not spending too much money.

The most recent upgrades to my lab were adding 4GB Fibre Channel and switching from Nexenta to OmniOS.  I have also been slowly swapping out hard drives in my storage box to bring everything up to 1TB drives.  The last one should be arriving by the end of the week.

I use both Fibre Channel and iSCSI in my lab.  Fibre Channel is used to connect the storage to the compute node, and iSCSI is used to connect to the backup server.


  • Dell PowerEdge T110 II
  • Xeon E3-1240v2
  • 32GB RAM
  • ESXi 5.5
  • 2x 50GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
  • 1 Bootable 2GB USB Flash drive
  • 3x gigabit NICs (2 Single Port Intel NICs, 1 Broadcom Onboard NIC)
  • 1 QLogic 2460 4GB Fibre Channel HBA


  • Dell PowerEdge T310
  • Xeon X3430
  • 8GB RAM
  • OmniOS w/ NAPP-IT Management Interface
  • ZFS (2 mirrored pairs w/ SSD Cache)
  • 3x 7200 RPM 1TB Hard Drives (1x WD Blue, 1x WD Red, 1 Seagate Constellation)
  • 1x 7200 RPM 500 Hard Drive (soon to be upgraded to a 1 TB WD Red)
  • 1 60GB SSD
  • 2x 60GB USB Hard Drives for OmniOS
  • 4 gigbait NICs (2 Onboard Broadcom NICs, 1 Dual-Port Intel NIC)
  • 1 QLogic 2460 4GB Fibre Channel HBA in Target Mode


  • HP WX4400 Workstation
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 4300
  • 4GB RAM
  • Windows Server 2008R2
  • Veeam 7
  • 80GB OS Drive
  • 2x WD Blue 500GB Hard Drives in software RAID1
  • 3 gigabit NICs (1 Onboard Broadcom NIC, 1 Dual-Port Broadcom NIC)


  • Firewall/Router – Juniper SRX100
  • Switch – Linksys 48-port gigabit switch

2 thoughts on “My Home Lab

  1. Pingback: Three Tips for Starting Your Home Lab | Sean's IT Blog

  2. Pingback: Home Lab Updates | Sean's IT Blog

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