Expanding my homelab with some servers and RAM.


New additions

A few months ago I took a trip up to Courtenay to pick up some servers I won via BCAuction.

Sadly, the servers I picked up were not filled to the brim of precious DDR4 ram as I had original hoped. Ultimately, I was able to collect 64 GB’s between the 6 servers I picked up. Which is pretty great to be honest!

I picked up these servers from Courtenay:

3x ProLiant DL360 Gen9

2x ProLiant DL360p Gen8

1x ProLiant DL380p Gen8

The goal was to replace my existing Dell R710’s with some newer hardware that would be more power efficient and support later versions of ESXi.

Sadly, the final tally of my Courtenay trip only really resulted in 1 fully spec’d out server, but even then it had only 64 GB’s of RAM.

So, naturally I had to either make a choice of butchering my Dell R710’s for their RAM, or find some other source of RAM…

And so I did!

I logged into BCAuction again and placed a healthy bet on some freshly pulled RAM sticks.

Yes! I won a lovely auction for for 48 sticks of server RAM:

That’s right! My homelab just got a huge upgrade, 786 GB’s worth of an upgrade!

2 weeks later I had a nice package of RAM on my doorstep. After a bunch of testing, it looks like 6 of the modules they sent are dead. Which means I have 42 sticks of functional RAM that’ve been able to insert into my servers.


Did someone say RAM?

After another small while, I’ve completed a bit of crazy upgrade to my homelab. I think the next thing I purchase should probably be a server rack…

Here is a gallery of the new servers: 

Upgrading the networking equipment of my homelab.

I have been using very basic and very cheap TP-link 1GB 8 port switches for my homelab for probably 4 years now. These little switches have actually been pretty amazing, I have had zero performance problems or really any issues of any kind with them. They have been running non-stop for basically 3-4 years now – impressive!

As part of my personal project to over hall my homelab, I realized I’m kind of reaching my max capacity of switching. So, this meant it was time to do a bit of upgrading.

I’ve been part of the Ubiquiti for a few years now, albeit on a much smaller scale. I’ve owned and operated a Unifi Wifi AP for years as part of an introduction to enterprise networking. While I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to use Ubiquiti, I am familiar with their controller software and general ecosystem. I’ve been fairly impressed with their offerings.

Naturally, I figured it would make sense to keep them in mind when purchasing new networking equipment.

I bought 2x US-24-G1 switches from Ubiquiti to help manage my homelab network. The biggest selling point for these switches was their integrations with the Unifi controller and that they are managed switches for around $200.

I particular love that I can now split up traffic between my out-of-band host manage NIC’s, iSCSI storage and aggregate connections between the switches.

Here’s a bit of a sneak peak on my latest project… Cable management:

Really needing a rack mount…

Both switches in the Unifi controller

A new home!

I am officially writing this from my new home – Victoria, BC! My amazing partner Sean and I are living together here on the Island.

It took a few days, but my servers running my website have been setup again in the new house!

Here’s a quick look at the new server setup:

The servers!

Due to the repurposing of my ethernet cables for other uses, I’ve had to sacrifice the full setup of the backend network temporarily. I hope to rebuild it using professional labeling at a later time.

I decided to retire the existing pfSense setup for the houses internet. This means the internet for guests and my partner is contained to the Shaw router instead of flowing threw the server. The pfSense router is still be used for my internal VMs, and my website network is being managed the same way.

I hope to rebuild a lot of the labs I did over my two years at VIU to not only practice my skills, but to research new improvements that have come out since then.

Otherwise, I am very happy to begin a new chapter of life down here in Victoria. Victoria is a lovely city with mild climate and rich history. I hope to find employment here soon and begin exploring the area (Social distancing of course)