• Marcel Venema

Homelab 2017

At the beginning of this new exciting technology year I think it is a good idea to share my home lab configuration with my readers.


My home lab is a slow process of buying a few bits and bolts every year. And with more than 25 years IT experience, i have collected quite a collection. As an independent VDI/SBC/Workspace consultant I find it important to have access to proper gear and toolset, same like a shoe maker wants to have the best shoe-making tools. Every year i have a budget to buy or replace computer parts.

I believe every IT professional should have a home lab in one kind or another to test and play with new technologies. An important factor of my lab is the Wife Acceptance Factor, all loud, big and expensive parts must be approved at least twice by my wife. Luckily I can bribe her now and then with a romantic dinner or give some flowers.


My homelab configuration consists of:


Synology DS1512+ NAS with 20TB storage (6HDD) and 2x250GB SSD cache disks Best NAS ever. Besides storing my virtual machines, files, documents, etc. I use it for my surveillance cameras, home automation and lots of other services. DSM rocks. Only one strange thing, when using read/write cache you need not 1 but 2 slots with SSD disks.


My Ikea Besta server cabinet with 4 servers. My own build rack server in a Ikea Besta cabinet. Four workstation mainboards with various models Intel i7 processor, 32-128GB internal memory, 256-1024GB SSD storage and three network cards each. Each server can run Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare ESXi or Citrix XenServer. See my previous blog article here.


Desktop computer Former server of my Besta cabinet. i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD. Added a MSI GTX1050 graphic card to use with 2 Dell 4K monitors. When I work at home, I use this computer. I use it also for video-editing.


Intel NUC Portable server. Intel i5 processor, 16GB RAM and 500GB harddisk. I use it for training or demo purposes.


Dell XPS15 9550 with 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage My notebook when travelling to customers or training. Workhorse. Must be capable of running a full XenDesktop setup, 8 virtual machines, at the same time. I love the 4K screen.


Apple IPad Pro 9.7” with Apple Pencil and Apple Smart Keyboard and Citrix X1 mouse. Demo gear. Great to show customers logon and working on my XenApp/XenDesktop demo environment.


Apple IPad Mini4 My ebook for in the morning or evening at home. Read mail, blogs, info, watch video’s, twitter, play games.


Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch switches Great network gear. Also have the Unifi Wifi stuff. My neighbors are complaining about their poor wifi performance. At my home I have blazing performance. :-)


Asus R11 Chromebook Latest addition from my 2017 budget. Demo gear. I want to do more with chromebook and chromebook administration. Next weeks I will learn more about the device and hopefully can blog about it.


Wait, no Apple MacBook ? Correct, besides an iPhone and iPad I do not own a MacBook, despite the string insistence from my daughter. The Dell XPS has everything I need and has a Microsoft Windows operating system.





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