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  • Kyle Hill

New Home Lab - Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

Getting the work-life balance correct can be a tricky thing, especially when you are passionate about something that also happens to be your job. Fortunately for me, the pace of change in the technology world is a good thing, as it gives me the opportunity to continually learn about new technologies and make sure my skills are still relevant and up-to-date.

Enter the Home Lab. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, here is a definition from our friends over at Seeed Studio:

A Home lab is the name given to a server (or multiple server setup) that resides locally in your home and where you host several applications and virtualized systems for testing and developing or for home and functional usage.

So basically I get to geek out with my own infrastructure setup that also (in theory) can do cool things in and around my house! What could go wrong? Firstly, let's talk a little about the hardware that I will be using. While it is mostly overkill, it does give some longevity to what I am doing as well as scale. Here are the components:

All wired up, it looks like this:

Don't bash me for cable management or neatness, this setup lives under the stairs and is mostly out of site so it just needs to be functional rather than beautiful.

With that out of the way, I can now talk about some of the virtualisation choices that I made and the rationale behind them. Firstly, I went with VMWare to do my first level virtualisation. I made this choice based on a couple of factors:

  • It is a new technology and vendor for me to learn about

  • They have an extensive range of solutions to cater for a broad range of use cases which I plan to investigate

  • They previously (and with some work, still do) support macOS

By no means comprehensive, the list does give you some insight into my thinking and approach to things. While I won't be going into the detail of setting up the VMware ESXI or vSphere solutions, I will be adding a few references to config that I make here and there. At scale, the deployment could look like this from a VMWare perspective:

But as my setup is far simpler, here is the diagram that represents my Home Lab and the components that I am going to be using for the up-coming series.

Lookout for the next post where we will begin our hybrid cloud journey with Azure Stack HCI!



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