Home Lab

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Check out these posts for details/updates on my home lab.

10 Gbps Home Lab – How I Got There

My home lab consists of two parts:

1.) Gear in my garage

2.) Gear at a colocation facility

Garage Gear

Previously I had a half height rack in my office, it was noisy and hot… especially in the summer time, so much so that I would actually turn off my home lab from about May/June until about September/October just because my office would never get cool. To remedy the situation I set my sights on a Liebert MCR (mini computer room) rack. Basically its a standard server cabinet with an air conditioner unit in the bottom. It is completely sealed and perfect for use in harsh environments (or my garage). By luck, and a little help from Craigslist, I was able to locate one SUPER cheap about 350 miles away…. road trip time.

So here it is, my home lab in its new spot in the garage. Leaving my office cool and quiet.

The original rack layout
Same Rack a year or so later after 10gig upgrades.


  • HP c3000 Blade Chassis
    •  1 – BL460c G6 Blade
    • 4 – BL490c G6 Blades
    • 2 – Cisco MDS 4Gbps Fiber Channel modules
    • 1 – 10Gbps Flex-10 modules
  • 1 – VNX5300
  • 1 – Synology 214j NAS
  • 1- Cisco Nexus 5010 Switch
  • Cisco 3750G 24 Port Switch – mainly used for iSCSI and VMware ports
  • 3Com Basline 2924 gigabit switch – mainly used for management and non-high speed stuff
  • Liebert GXT2-2000 UPS
  • And of course the Liebert MCR cabinet – which as of this update (June 2014) it has been running like a champ!

Total RAM – 300ish GB, Total Storage – About 80TB

The home lab has taken on the role of primary testing ground as well now that I have a /28 block of IP addresses and Fiber to the Home. I have generally started projects out on the home lab, played around with them, and if I want to make them more permanent then I will use Zerto to move them to my colo gear.

Primary functions

The main use of this equipment is as my personal playground, but it also serves some other purposes. It is a replication target for my colo gear, as well as a demo area for new hardware and software that I am showing to customers.

I also now host my personal Zerto Lab here as well. I use that during product demo’s for customers.

Colocated Gear

No cool picture of this gear, mainly because I forgot to take one after setting everything up, but here is the list of hardware I use to run this blog as well as some other sites.


  • 2 – Dell r410 Servers
  • 1 – EMC VNXe3100 – 6x600GB 15kRPM and 6x2TB 7200RPM
  • 1- Dell 24 Port Managed gigabit switch
  • 1 – 5 port Netgear gigabit switch
  • Cisco ASA5510

Primary functions

I’ve had gear colo’d since my first year at college in 2003, it started off as a single linux box to run some mustang websites, and has grown to what it is today. Today the workload on this hardware consists of  JPaul.me (this site!), some Zerto replication testing, as well as some other VM’s for hosting web pages for my family and friends. Along with the public workload, I also run lab stuff that requires public IP addresses on this gear too since I have a /28 IP block.

Because I live an hour away from the datacenter I decided that using my home lab as a pseudo “DR” site would be a good idea, so to do that I have been using Zerto Replication across a VPN connection to my home lab. I replicate my blog and other stuff I don’t want to rebuild from scratch.



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