Homelab intro

I have been playing with hardware from around 2011 and since that time had several servers at home. I used them for lanparties, learning, taking them apart and put them back together again. After a couple of years virtualization for normal consumers became affordable and since then i have around 4 simple test servers in the cloud. But… it just isn’t fun as it used to be. I miss the noise, the hardware at home. ITs kind of a proud feeling you get when you see your serverrack at home. 

So the last couple of months i have been working on setting up a homelab again. I had to gather information on what i wanted to do (power doesn’t pay itself). I had to convince myself if the 20 – 30 euros per month extra on the powerbill is worth my effort. It was. Hobbies cost money, but i still want to monitor my usage. 

The reason im making a blog about this is to see myself growing in knowledge, the problems i come accross and how i (can) solve them.

Some thoughts from the last months:

  • What do i want my  Homelab to run
  • What can i migrate from the cloud to my homelab
  • How many VM’s will i probably run (windows/linux) and how much storage, ram, cpu power do i need per vm.
  • Network. i have just my provider modem/router and want to upgrade that to my own setup. So i had to made a hardware wish list. Hardware isn’t cheap (even 2nd hand can be expensive). And it is fun to buy hardware not all at once, because my requirements can change over time
  • where do i place all my opensource code? Currently on github/gitlab. Easy choice: make a VM for gitlab CE 
  • Vlans. i know what they are, but don’t know how to configure them. Nice addon for the homelab progress
  • Windows 2012/2016 AD, IIS, SCORCH, SCCOM, SCVM environment. (all with trial licenses). for a homelab you can rearm the machines 5 time. So 3 years with a VM on trial license is fine for my purposes
  • Im already working with Orchestrator so now i can automate my homelab
  • Monitoring tools
  • NAS storage, Backup storage, UPS, APC, serverrack (probably build my own, its way more fun :D).
  • setup of proxy server
  • Rebuild wowza dashboard. setup wowza server and redo youtube video about it.
  • Plex Server
  • p1 monitoring on RPI
  • IOT projects
  • Share setup of servers and software online or on my blog. Might be usefull for others. So why not share it. 
  • resources (learning, gathering info). reddit has a homelab sub :D. https://www.reddit.com/r/homelab/
  • Ok, where do i put all the above. I made a trello board for myself.

At this point i bought a nice used server: 

HP DL380 G8 / 2x Six Core E5-2630 / 96GB RAM / 6x 300GB SAS HP, 1x 300GB cold spare). Got a good price on it. 1020 euros including disks. That was my starting point. In the meantime i already have around 8 Vm’s installed and work in progress

  • ESXi 6.5 Hypervisor free license.
  • Windows server 2016 – Active Directory
  • Windows server 2016 + SQL server 2014
  • Windows server 2012 – System center Orchestrator
  • Linux Teamspeak server – nlsquad.org will migrate to my homelab
  • Linux Webserver – webprojects will migrate to this server. installed dokuwiki so i can document on the same time
  • Linux Converter – converting youtube videos to mp4 and audio
  • Linux Gitlab CE server – version management server for CI/CD of all my code and snippets. some repo’s private, some public
  • more to come….

Other hardware present:

  • levelOne GSW-2457 24p Gbit switch (unmanaged)
  • Edgerouter X SFP – waiting to arrive
  • provider router with wifi
  • have an old Cisco 2948 48-port 100mbit switch. might use it for practise. I had it airbrushed by my brother 😀

So i started with re-arranging my ip range. Static range, dhcp range, 2nd range for backup traffic. At this point just pretty basic. I wanted to start with the server setup first. 

Power drain from the server and switch: currently 180W / 4.32 Kwh p/day / € 0,82 p/day.
So somewhere around €25,- euro’s extra on my electric bill per month.

I have 4 cloud servers which i pay around 20 euros p/month for. Those will be migrated to my homelab. So i don’t loose much on that. 

Will add some pictures in my next posts to come

To be continued…..

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