HomeLab: Hardware – A look inside the lab!

After many requests for clarifying my HomeLab hardware I decided it was only right to go through what’s in the lab. So today I will go through all the hardware in detail; with full specs and plans and hopefully I won’t miss anything.
Firstly, let’s start with what’s in the small comms rack that isn’t included in this post;

  1. vyOS router.
This runs on an old checkpoint firewall box with 6 NICs which connect to;
* Trusted LAN (uplink to pfSense).  
* DMZ (Dell powerconnect 5424).  
* 4 x pppoe interfaces.

Now onto my very quickly thrown together  rack diagram,  Ft. Mostly incorrect device images.

HomeLab Hardware:

Rack mock-up

Starting from the top (excluding the obvious items).

  • DMZ Switch.
Connected directly to the vyOS router,  I have a /29 IPV4 & /56 IPV6 that will be routed here.  Host Prod 1 has a 2 port NIC dedicated to DMZ traffic & Prod 2 has a 4 port.
This is for handling small traffic, segmented with multiple VLAN's; IDRAC/IPMI, management, internet traffic & so on.
  • Unifi US16XG.
Important guy for all the fast stuff like; file transfer, vMotion, etc. Oh and the 20Gbps interconnection to my office.
  • pfSense firewall.
Firewall obviously, final configuration isn't decided upon as of yet (in regards to content filtering/so on). However it will initiate all trusted connections (VPN's/Amazon/Azure/other cloud stuff).
  • Dell R610‘s.
  • The first 3 are being built as a VDI lab, for production use in a sense but still a ‘lab’. However, I’m happy to break it in the name of nerdstuff.
Waiting on Heatsinks, fans to arrive, (hdd and controller still in planning)  but these are built to the following specs.

Dual E5540 / 96GB Ram. 

  • The 4th is PROD 2 server, clustered with the below superMicro server.
Dual X5650 / 128GB Ram, many gbie NICs and dual port sfp+.


  • SuperMicro CSE825 (yes shown incorrect  as 1U)
Currently dual E5540 but I have some replacement cpus in mind, also 128GB Ram, many gbie NIC's and dual sfp+. 
  • SuperMicro SC216 (another incorrectly shown 1U)
JBOD chassis fully populated with Hitachi 450gb 10k spinners.

This is the PROD hosts storage array.
  • Supermicro SC836.
Freenas, only have a few 2tb drives at the moment, but this will be fixed when time prevails. 
  • 2 x whiteboxes
These are some random servers I bought a few years back. Rubbish contents but good cases, so I've decided to keep them incase they can be repurposed. 
  • Dreaming of more disk space…
  • Then a whole lot of battery backup.

1, 2 many upses

Although I could go into a lot more detail about every aspect of my homelab hardware, There’s isn’t much point. So That’s pretty much it for now.


However, If you have any questions feel free to him me up in the comments below or on Reddit.

Oh! I forgot about the tape library too, need 1U for that beast.

Posted by Brendan

An IT system Administrator from Australia, technology guru and Automotive enthusiast/wanna be mechanic.

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