Home Lab

Always a work in progress.

Servers 1&2:

(2) LIAN LI PC-V351B Black Aluminum MicroATX Desktop Computer Case
(2) SeaSonic Platinum Series SS-400FL2 Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless
(2) SuperMicro MBD-X9SCM-F-O LGA 1155 Intel C204 Micro ATX Intel Xeon E3 Server Motherboard
(2) Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3 GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 69W Quad-Core Server Processor
(2) Kingston 8GB Micro SDHC Flash Card Multi-Kit/Mobility Kit Model
(4) Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1333 MT/s (PC3-10600) CL9 Unbuffered ECC UDIMM 240-Pin 1.35V/1.5V Server Memory CT2CP102472BD1339
(2) Silverstone Tek 3.5-inch to 2 x 2.5-inch Bay Converter (SDP08B)
(2) Intel X520-DA2 10 Gb NICs with TwinAx cables

Server 3:

(1) Intel NUC NUC6i3SYH
(1) Crucial 32 GB Kit (2x16 GB) DDR4 2133 MT/s (CT2K16G4SFD8213)
(1) SanDisk Cruzer Fit 16 GB USB 2 Low Profile Flash Drive


(1) Raspberry Pi 2 Model B as a DNS server.

Shared Storage:

(1) Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage (DS213j)


(1) Kingston Digital 120GB SSDNow V300 SATA 3 2.5 (7mm height) with Adapter SSD 2.5-Inch SV300S37A/120G
(1) Samsung 840 EVO-Series 120 GB 2.5-inch SATA III MZ-7TE120BW
(1) Crucial M4 512 GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6GB/s SSD CT512M4SSD2

Occasional guests:

Intel DC S3700 Series Taylorsville SSDSC2BA100G301 2.5" 100 GB SATA III MLC SSD
Micron P420m PCIe SSD
Intel S3610 1.2 TB SATA SSD
Intel P3600 1.2 TB NVMe cards


(1) Cisco Small Business SD2008 8-port Gb Switch
(1) Netgear 16-port Gb Switch
(1) Cisco Pix 501


This changes but at a high level:

ESXi 5.5 and 6 with PernixData FVP for IO acceleration and Architect for stroage analytics
Domain controller
vCenter 6
FVP Management server appliance
Performance test VMs
VCSA6 appliance for nested hosts
Nested ESXi hosts running FVP and Architect

This setup is pretty small, does not consume too much power (I think - I plan on investing in a UPS which measures power draw), and because it is not packed with hard drives it does not generate much noise or heat. The fanless power supplies and switches help keep the noise down as well and the entire setup can barely be heard at all. I actually have to look and make sure that it is turned at times. The hosts are maxed out at 32 GB of RAM. As PernixData supports using RAM and flash I use both for storage acceleration.

Wish list:

- An LSI controller like a 9207-8i or even the new LSI SAS 3008 controller would be nice.
- A better switch. A fanless 10 Gb switch would be perfect. Though not necessarily fanless it looks like the Netgear XS708E (copper) goes for about $760 and the Dell X4012 switch (SFP) costs about $1,200, a bit too steep for the home lab at this point. If you know of other options I am open to suggestions. Right now I use 10 Gb cards and TwinAx to connect 2 hosts in a cluster for vMotion and write back acceleration.
- Beefier backend storage.

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