A few months ago a simple thought came into my mind and it didn’t left for several months.
‘ With new and cool software like vSAN, Pernixdata FVP, vROPS, vRAC, vSphere 6.0, vSAN, …. You need a new #Homelab to test this stuff’
Yeah… I somehow felt inception-ized ;-).
In the end of last year I had a phone-call with Manfred Hofer form vbrain.info about his great #homelab posts and design-decisions on his blog. Even though I did not chose one of his proposed designs I really like to thank you Fred for your efforts and great sum up.
Since I was asked by multiple people to document my new hardware, I quickly summarized it here:
I had the following requirements for my #homelab:
- min. of 3 nodes (for getting vSAN up and running)
- min. of 96GB RAM
- low-noise (currently it’s standing close to my office-desk)
- min. 2 NICS per node
I didn’t really cared about ECC-support, IPMI, etc… Nothing productive will run there… I just need a suitable performance ( ca. 10-16 cores / 2000-3000 4K 70/30 random IOPS / 2-4 TB Disk) capacity / to do some quick’n dirty testing / customer environment simulations. Intel NUCs would have been a perfect choice, but the lack of 32 GB functionality disqualified them ;-/
In the end I decided to go for the following solutions.
- Shuttle SH87R6
- Intel Core i5-4440S
- 4×8 GB DDR3 memory
- Intel Pro PT 1000 Dual
- 1x Crucial CT256MX
- 1x Crucial CT512MX
- CISCSO SG-300 – 20 ports
- Huawei WS311 Wifi-bridge
- Synology DS414 Slim
- 1x Crucial CT512MX
- Western Digital RED 1 TB
Currently I have vSphere 6.0 running with a vSAN 6.0 datastore. I have also decided to get a dedicated NFS share on the Synology for maintenance/testing reasons so I can easily demote/recreate the vSAN datastore. Having nearly everything on SSD gives me a performance that is suitable for me and gives me a chance to work efficient with new products (even if the local S-ATA controller are limited in their capabilities, but hey… it’s non-productive ;-).
After optimizing some of my cabling and replacing the fan of the Shuttle Barebone I really like the solution on my desk. It’s powerful, small, scaleable enough for the next things I am planning to do. Even if my requirement for hardware is increasing I can scale-up the solution pretty quickly and easy.
So far I was not able to get the embedded Realtek up and running with vSphere 6.0. But to be honest, I haven’t spent much time with it ;-). Once I have an update here, I will let you know.