Home Lab: The Cloud Within!

Well folks it has been a while now since I have blogged, due to a lot of projects and I wanted to give my family a little bit of dedication as well.

For those whom have been following me on Twitter saw what I have been preparing for =).

Boxes Boxes!!

So first before I got into further details, I would like to give credit to my company’s management (CCi) their aid in acquiring the equipment and for believing in me all the way, a simple thank you for sure wouldn’t do them right.

In addition I would like to thank my sister who generously offered me half of her room as she got married and moved from the house, which gave me the edge I needed to gain a higher WAF :-D.

Now first things first, here under I’ve listed what is in the boxes:

  1. 3 x HP ML150 Gen9 Hot Plug 4LFF CTO Server (32GB memory / HP ML150 Gen9 E5-2609 v3 / HP 240GB 6G SATA SSD).
  2. 1 x HP Procurve 2910al-24g (out of sale yes but hey it came at a super good price ;-)).
  3. 1 x Synology DiskStation DS1815+ with 4 x 2TB HDDs (VMware VAAI all the way =)).

Additionally I bought the following (because I thought it would be so rude to ask for more :-P):

  1. 30 x CAT6 3 meter Ethernet cables.
  2. 1 x 8 plug PDU.
  3. 1 x 42U cabinet (Yup the force is strong with this one, got it used for 230$ :-D and it came with 2 shelves as well).
  4. 1 x cabinet shelf.

So this is the new stuff, my previous lab consisted of:

  1. My workstation an HP Elitebook 8540w with 32GB of memory (running VMware Workstation on it).
  2. My second workstation an HP Elitebook 8560p with 24GB of memory (running a customized version ESXi).
  3. 1 x Synlogy DiskStation DS216se with 2 x 3TB HDDs.
  4. 1 x 3COM 3CDSG8 / HP 1900-8G switch (manageable).

I had the stuff laying around for around a month before I started and that’s because I didn’t have the rack at that time, because frankly after looking into the prices of a half-height rack it would cost around 350$ and the full height would cost around 600$ and I wasn’t about to pay that additional amount of money although my heart wanted it, so I was thinking of getting a shelving solution such as this:


And I was looking around for prices so that to see the most adequate one, until one day (A weekend actually) I was heading out for a walk with my son and I came across a shop where they sell electronics and a lot of other stuff including cabinets and I thought why not check them out and TADA! I found a 42U rack standing in front of me and it was used but in a very good condition and it was for 230$ so immediately without giving it a second thought or even considering WAF I bought it :-D.

Usually hardware implementations aren’t very much hard once you get used to it, but doing it with a 3 years old child now that is a total new experience that requires a lot of patience and requires that you become a talking Google engine to answer all questions asked =)…meet my trusty assistant Muhammad Ali.












Eventually we got all things sorted out, and I managed to assemble and put everything in place in a single day full of a lot of 101 subjects reviews :-D. I even opened one of the servers and taught him the name of each part and now knows what is a server or zerver as he pronounces it =) and finally this emerged :-D.


  1. The workstation will be my single node management cluster.
  2. The HP servers will be my lab/production cluster with a lot of nesting for sure.
  3. Both clusters will have access to NFS based datastores on both Synology diskstations.
  4. Noise is very much acceptable and can barely be heard as I went through all the rooms and once I close the door the noise vanishes.
  5. Cooling, well yeah I have to worry about that later because we’re still in winter and the weather is good when it comes to running such a home lab :-P.

I am still working on migrating my old workloads and cleaning that which needs to be cleaned and I will have another blog post for that matter as well, for the time being thanks to Allah I have done a major achievement and I truly look forward to how things will progress from here.


Thank you for taking the time to read this :-).

Upgrade Update [1]::[February 2017]:

  • I am now officially a full fledged Mac user and I installed ESXi on my old workstation after doing some cooling related maintenance (mainly replenished both the CPU and graphics processor with a good jolt of thermal paste :-D and it was good as new).
  • Added 4x4TB disks to my 1815+ Synology.

  • Added 32 x 2 memory to my 3 HPE ML150 servers.

  • Removed the noisy fan from my HPE office connect switch.

My home lab now logically looks something like this:

  • Management Cluster (Production sort of):

  • Testing Cluster:





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