Home Lab Updates

Back in December, I wrote about my home lab setup.  In the last few months, I’ve made a lot of changes to my lab as I’ve added new hardware and capabilities and shuffled some other equipment around to new roles.  It’s also changed locations as my wife and I moved into a new house last month.

The “newest” hardware in my lab is all used gear that I picked up off of eBay.  There were some great deals on custom Dell-built cloud servers from a large cloud provider that more than tripled the overall capacity of my lab.  The server run older AMD 2419EE processors, so they trade a lot of performance for power efficiency, and come with 48GB of RAM each.  They have their own set of quirks that need to be worked around, but that said, they do run vSphere 5.5 well.

The Dell servers can be rather finicky with the network switches that they work with, and the Linksys that I got late last year was swapped out for a Juniper EX4200 that I was able to get on loan from my employer.

The PowerEdge T110 II that I purchased last year has been moved from being a computer node to my primary storage node, and the storage OS has been migrated from OmniOS to Nexenta 4.0.  The PowerEdge T310 that was previously hosting storage has been retired, and I am selling it to a co-worker who is looking to start his own lab up.

I’ve also expanded the Fibre Channel footprint of my lab, and all my servers are connected to storage via Fibre Channel.  I recently picked up a Silkworm 3250 on eBay for $30.  I was also able to pick up a few 4GB QLogic 2450 cards for about $8 a piece. 

There is still some work that needs to be done on the lab.  I need to run some new electrical circuits into my makeshift server room as well as add some venting to take care of the excess heat.  I also plan on running Ethernet throughout the new house, and that will all terminate at my lab as well.