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Home Lab – 2016 / Current

At the end of 2015, it was time to replace my old home lab for something new. The lab was based upon two HPE ProLiant N54l microservers with local storage running VMware vSphere 5.5. The old home lab didn’t have enough memory and the hosts were getting old (approx. 3 years), it was starting to limit my possibilities.

After a lot of googling and reading reviews/blogs, a came up with the following approach. I have chosen a very safe traditional approach: A two-host cluster with shared NFS storage.  The compute is based upon two HPE ProLiant servers running both VMware ESXi 6.0 (update 2017 currently VMware ESXi 6.5). They are managed by a VMware vCenter server running on top of the hosts. The storage is based upon a Synology DS1515+ with four Samsung SSDs.

Overview – Compute and Storage:

ESXi Host 01:ESXi Host 02:Storage:
Model:ProLiant ML10 v2ProLiant ML10 v2DS1515+
CPU:Intel Pentium G3240Intel Pentium G3240Intel Atom C2538 Quad Core 2.4 GHz
Memory:32GB - DDR332GB - DDR36 GB - DDR3 (2 GB + 4 GB)
Storage:USB/SDHC: Kingston 16GBUSB/SDHC: Kingston 16GB2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500 GB
2x Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500 GB
Storage Controller:HPE Dynamic Smart
Array B120i Controller (disabled)
HPE Dynamic Smart
Array B120i Controller (disabled)
Onboard - RAID1 (2x SSD)
Onboard - RAID1 (2x SSD)
Network cards:HPE Ethernet 1Gb 2-port 332i Adapter (onboard) HPE Ethernet 1Gb 2-port 332i Adapter (onboard) 4x RJ-45 1 GbE LAN-poort
Expansion cards:HPE Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331T AdapterHPE Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331T Adapter-

Overview – Network:

Because this lab environment has multiple hosts with multiple NICs a switch upgrade was required. I have bought an HP 1810-24G v2 Switch (J9803A).
A full managed 24 ports rack switch that supports LACP, VLANs and has no noisy cooling fan.

Overview – Power:

I case of a power failure or lightning strike the power needs to be protected. I have bought an APC Smart-UPS 750VA USB RM 1U 230V.
A small and rack-mountable UPS.

Overview – Rack:

Since 2008, all current Home Labs were located in a network 19″ rack, but the rack was limited in depth. Therefore, it was time to buy a modern server rack. After some searching on a secondhand website, I found an HP 10622 G2 (22U) server rack. This is the smallest server rack available in the HP G2 rack series. It has enough of space and can house full rack servers. It also has many other nice features like wheels, power distribution units and easily removable bezels.

Product images: