The Home Lab Project
I’ve been slowly putting together a home lab which will meet certain criteria.
- Be Functional – I need a lab that will handle a majority of the VMware technologies I will be expected to deploy as a Senior Consultant.
- Be Affordable – I don’t have unlimited funds, so I’ll need to show some restraint. I will also need to go easy on the power consumption.
- Be Sustainable – I want to be able to upgrade and add as my skills grow. I will also want to build the lab in stages to help defer the costs associated with owning a home lab.
- Small Footprint – My home office is limited in space, so a rack of servers won’t really work in my situation.
- Be Quiet – I’ll need fan-less or ultra quiet cooling.
With these objectives in mind, I have set out to procure my hosts for my first cluster.
Compute: Intel NUC NUC6I5SYH
Boot Device: Samsung 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Fit
Storage 1: SanDisk Ultra II 480GB SATA III
Storage 2: SSD Samsung NVMe SM951 128GB M.2 PCIe 3.0
Network Adapter 1: StarTech USB31000S StarTech USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet NIC Network Adapter
Network Adapter 2: StarTech.com USB 3.0 to Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Adapter NIC with USB Port
TOTAL PER UNIT: ~$940 USD (memory has doubled since I built my first host and the 128GB M.2 is no longer available. The 256GB M.2 is actually cheaper than the one listed here)
Managed Switch: NETGEAR JGS524E-200NAS 24-Port Gigabit Managed Switch
TOTAL NETWORKING: ~$225 USD
Grand Total for 3 Hosts and Networking: $3,045 USD