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.