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Lab Build v2

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JohnBradbury, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    A few months ago I built a new homelab. It was a single PC setup running quite a complex nested virtual environment. It worked out pretty well but now I'm ready for the next challenge.

    I want to spec out, plan and build a new homelab.

    Must have features:

    Rack mountable
    SAN shared storage
    Segmentation of Storage Traffic
    Multiple ESXi Hosts
    SSL VPN Appliance (Pfsense custom build)
    Firewall (Pfsense custom build)

    At this early stage I'm just looking to bounce ideas and take onboard comments and thoughts from the forums.

    One idea I had to reduce costs was to buy a number of 2U Rack Servers from eBay and transfer the hardware into larger 4U cases to help reduce the operating noise. I can purchase these much cheaper than buying the equivelent hardware new. However as some vendors produce custom format motherboards this may not be an option.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    or replace the fans with quieter ones?
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    The only way I'm going to get a these servers to an acceptable noise level would be with 120mm fans and they won't fit in a 2U case.

    One of the other benefits of using a 4U case is that it will accept standard PCI cards, making it much easier to add NICS to the SAN and ESXi boxes.
     
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    You can easily buy dual and quad port nics with low profile brackets, some times they even come with the as well as the full height ones.

    I have to be honest and say that going full enterprise spec server builds is, in my opinion, over kill.

    You can buy smaller boxes that would work just as well that run cooler, will allow you to add multiple cards, greater than 32GB of ram and have a better WAF (wife acceptance factor) than a rack full of servers.

    If I was starting again I would be looking at something like this board - http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/D/X10SDV-F.cfm, it takes 128GB of ram, is in the mini itx format and has IPMI fitted.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  5. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks Simon I'll take a look at that motherboard later. The problem with a non rack mounted system is, it will probably end up being far less tidy and taking up just as much space.

    You're absolutely right, this kind of setup is overkill for a homelab but it's more a case of, I can, so why not.

    The WAF isn't something I'm concerned about at all. As well as being very understanding about my obsessions her indoors is no fool, she understands this helps to bring in a significant portion of our income.

    Doing a little more research today I'm actually thinking about virtualising the Firewall and VPN appliances. So long as I have plenty of NICS and a large switch it seems like a good way to go. This would also bring up a nice potential future project looking at Firewall resilience and the possibility of running two VMs' across separate ESXi Hosts, one as a hot standbye.

    Although limiting the number of physical boxes will mean that the ESXi Hosts will need to pack a bit more of a punch, possibly quad Xeon processors and 64GB Of RAM each.

    This will be running 24/7 and host amongst other things, standard domain infrastructure, Exchange, Citirx, SCCM, VPN and Firewall.

    Add to that a Wyse Terminal for testing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  6. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Simon, just had chance to look at this and it looks fantastic. Sadly availability in the UK seems to be an issue otherwise this could definitely have been a contender. Two ITX boxes with a decent synology NAS.
     
  7. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Things have progressed a little since I was here last so I thought I'd post an update.

    After quite a bit of research and a lot of number crunching I decided to go with the idea of second hand rack mountable servers. On balance it makes good sense.

    So today I ordered two of these beauties:

    HP DL380 G7 - Dual x5650 2.66GHz HEX Core / 64GB RAM

    That's a total of 24 Processor cores and 128GB RAM across the two hosts.

    I'm currently hunting around for a rack cabinet and I still need to decide what I'm going to do with regards to shared storage. It's either going to by a third HP DL380 or a Synology DS1815+
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  8. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    I really need to start noting all this stuff down in a blog or something...

    Some rather large boxes arrived today with the first shipment of my new kit:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2x HP DL380 G7 (64GB RAM, DUAL X5650 6-Core XEON)

    I'm currently pondering storage options:

    2x DS1815+ (Active/Passive) - 16x WD 2TB RED HDD
    2x HP DL380 G7s' (OpenFiler Active/Passive) - 12x 1TB 2.5" HDD
    Local SSD RAID Arrays (Hyper-V Replica/Etc) - 12x 480GB SSD
     
  9. Vince Polston

    Vince Polston Nibble Poster

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    Hey there John. I've got nothing to contribute just wanted to say keep posting the pictures! I love following along on these types of things.
     
    Idunno likes this.
  10. Idunno

    Idunno Bit Poster

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    Following this thread with interest !
     
    Certifications: HND IT, MCP: 70-290, 073, 067, 068. Prince2 Foundation
    WIP: LFS101x.2, ITIL V3
  11. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Haven't been around for a while. I really need to work on that.

    Then keep an eye out for a new thread I'll be posting in a week or two, both of you. I'm building homelab v3 at the moment and it's a beast. By far the most capable, and the most complete lab I've ever build. I decided to treat myself given the long hours and hardwork I'd put in this year. It's certainly hurting the bank but it's worth it when I consider the hours I'll be putting into training in 2016.
     
    Idunno likes this.
  12. Ce127

    Ce127 Nibble Poster

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    I'll look forward to that thread, John. Extra interest this time around as I have just invested in my first ever home lab/VM host. Only a small Dell Poweredge server, nothing at all in comparison to this or many other users on the forum, but I only anticipate it growing as the years go by.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCSA: Windows 7, 70-640, 70-642
    WIP: 70-646
    Idunno likes this.
  13. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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