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Cries, Mistakes, and Learnings of a developer.

Redefining my Homelab

Although I’ve had a homelab setup for about 5 years now, I guess I can’t really classify it as a homelab because it’s only ever been utilized for my business needs.

A few months ago, one of my bigger contracts was delayed and I found myself with some extra time available. So, instead of sitting in front of a computer for 10 hours a day working, why not spend it sitting in front of a computer playing!? Inserts witty comment about testing in production.

Unfortunately, the delay of the contract was highly volatile, literally changing back and forth every other day or so. I couldn’t risk messing up the environment, since it hosted services that some of my other contracts expect to be available. In addition, since most of the virtual guests were Windows based, I didn’t have too many resources (memory mainly) to share with the new guests that I’d be adding to HyperV.

So, fast-forward to a few weeks ago, I bought another Dell T5500.


  • In their default configuration, they are quieting than the R610s that I had running previously.
  • They have just as much processing power (sometimes more) to their rack-mount equivalents.
  • They are pretty affordable.


  • Doesn’t look as “cool”.
  • Don’t get fancy enterprise features (redundant power supplies), iDRAC/IPMI, and sometimes limited on RAM. (128GB is maximum for T5500’s I believe)
  • Not as common as rack mounts I believe, so it seems you’re better off buying a whole other unit for parts, rather than the individual parts themselves.

So, after spending a couple of days scouring Ebay for some good deals and then a few hundred bucks I have the following configuration…

  • Dell T5500
    • 2 Intel X5680 CPUs
    • 72GB memory
    • 256GB SSD for OS (Proxmox)
    • 480GB SSD for VM storage
    • Intel PRO/1000 NIC

The T5500’s motherboard already has a single gigabit port, however I wanted to have a few guests on different VLANs and didn’t think I could accomplish this with the VLAN tagging built into Proxmox. However, I’m not as knowledgeable as I wish I were when it comes to networking.

Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to publish some posts pertaining to the following information.

  • The design of the homelab, what guests I’ll be running, and how it fits into the grand schema of my entire network.
  • Making use of Proxmox. I’m currently running my business environment from HyperV hosts, so this will be new to me.
  • Getting Ansible setup and deploying VMs through that.
    • Making a container template. I’ve been making changes to a base container, removing some files manually, then converting it to a template. It feels a bit hackish, so I want to look into the Debian Appliance Builder to build the templates.
  • Setting up the various guests and services.
  • Any problems I run into :)

See you soon.

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