Home Lab 2016 – Part 1

| 04/03/2016 | Tags:

Home Lab 2016 – Part 1



Having a home lab is every IT enthusiasts dream come true, and now I can finally say that I have fulfilled that dream!  I previously was (and currently still am…) using a 1-node “white box” system I had built from a spare gaming machine I had laying around, running on an open-air tech bench from TopDeck.  It’s comprised of the following:

And even though it runs great, I simply felt it wasn’t enough as I basically wanted to replicate a mini-datacenter for my lab which would help tremendously with my VMware studies and overall VMware knowledge.

So I quickly got to work and embarked on the adventure of creating my new lab.  I started off by opening a Feedly account and subscribing to numerous other user and community blogs, reading what others did to create and build/setup their homelabs, and also checked out some youtube channels.

Lot’s of good reads out there…


Wahl Network

VMware Front Experience



Just to name a few…

I also spent the last year+ researching, planning, designing, and purchasing the equipment for my new lab.  And since I wanted somewhat of a low power solution (as to not incur outrageous electric bill charges) I settled on SuperMicro’s A1SAi-2750 ATOM SOC (System-on-a-chip) Mini-ITX motherboards.  Boy, do these things boast a boatload of features (not getting into specifics as you guys know how to use Google I’m sure…)!  Since I also wanted to have them in a rack to replicate a mini-datacenter, I went with a Navepoint 9U rack enclosure.  I bought some Sandisk USB’s, some SSD’s & HDD’s (for eventual VSAN setup), and extra NIC’s (for redundancy and best practices), 1U cases, and some Synology NAS devices.  Here’s my entire part’s list…

And for NAS storage…..

The Networking components…

And last, but definitely not least…. a slew of Monoprice Cat6 24AWG Flexboot cables (various lengths)

Phew!…what a list!  Wait!…am I missing anything??

The end result…my new mini-datacenter homelab 2016!! (with previous Dev “white box” system to the side)


Stay tuned for Part 2 ( I hope) where I plan on “Putting it all together”!

Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts/feedback…and words of encouragement so I can continue on this new blogging adventure!

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Home Lab 2016 – Part 1 by virtualex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.