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Home Lab Gear

A few of you may have heard the mutterings on Twitter that I was hunting around for some new gear. At first I was going to go down the path that Kendrick Coleman took and build out a white box lab (See his green machines post here). However, as I got into the weeds of ordering and comparing parts on NewEgg, I found that the Dell T110 is both reasonably priced and on the VMware vSphere HCL.

The Manifest

Dell T110:
Core i5
8GB Ram
250GB Disk
URL: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=bedwlr1&c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&model_id=poweredge-t110

Iomega ix4-200d 4TB
URL: http://www.frys.com/product/6576293?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

The Gear

They’re not much to look at, but here they are:
IMG_0262IMG_0264

Not pictured is an Iomega ix4-200d 4TB that provides the storage back-end and a 24port 1gbit dumb switch for connectivity.

Screenshot of Ultimate Cluster Power:

image

Other Notes

This setup runs vSphere like a boss, at least compared to my old setup. As large as the boxes are, they’re actually quite quiet. The switch on the other hand, is a noisy mother. If I include the ix4 into the cost, it brings me to about 1600 for a decent vSphere home lab that is on the HCL and supports a lot of really cool features.

5 thoughts on “Home Lab Gear

  • Nice job Cody. I’m looking at the T110 for a home lab also along with several different storage platforms (I can’t decide yet).

    One thing I think people tend to leave out of the cost is a Microsoft Technet subscription. Unless you plan on running only Linux VMs you can’t get far without that subscription. I think it’s something like $300-350 for a one year subscription.

    One question on your setup – did you add any gigabit NICs to each T110? I believe it comes with just one on-board NIC so I was wondering how many NICs you added and which models.

    Thanks Cody, I’m looking forward to hearing more from you as you put your lab through some testing.

    Matt

  • Nice job Cody. I’m looking at the T110 for a home lab also along with several different storage platforms (I can’t decide yet).

    One thing I think people tend to leave out of the cost is a Microsoft Technet subscription. Unless you plan on running only Linux VMs you can’t get far without that subscription. I think it’s something like $300-350 for a one year subscription.

    One question on your setup – did you add any gigabit NICs to each T110? I believe it comes with just one on-board NIC so I was wondering how many NICs you added and which models.

    Thanks Cody, I’m looking forward to hearing more from you as you put your lab through some testing.

    Matt

  • Only the single Gig port for now. There were two factors in that decision: 1) My home use case, separation is best practice, but when weighed against the cost, I don’t need that level of redundancy/separation, etc at home. 2) The dumb Gig switch, this also limits how much I’d be able to do in this type of setup. I may get into some fancy networking use cases down the road with Vyatta and vSwitches, but for now, it’s not needed.

    Agreed re: TechNet subscription.

  • I also heard that Netgear GS108 has the largest frame buffer cache than any other routers out there

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