Lab

New home virtualisation lab

Intro

It’s been a while since I’ve built my current home lab. It’s based on Lenovo M910t. In general, I’m quite happy but it’s lacking expansion flexibility.

So I’m looking for a replacement. Below my notes from research and calculations of total cost.

New system components

Cost estimation.

ComponentDescriptionPrice [PLN]
Total [PLN] / [USD]7307 [PLN]
1964 [USD]
Case - Fractal Design Define R5 👍
- be quiet! Silent Base 800
- Phanteks Enthoo Pro
439
CPUAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X3365
MotherboardMSI X399 SLI PLUS1290
RAM - 48GB from old PC
- 16GB - Crucial 2400

Total: 64 GB (with option for expansion up to 128 GB)
630
PSUSeaSonic Focus Plus Platinum 650W (SSR-650PX)478
HDDPC
- 2x 2TB from the old (ZFS root, RAID1)
- 1x 4TB from the old + 2x 4TB new (ZFS storage1, RAID5)

Total: 2+8 = 10 GB HDD

On-demand backups
- 1x 2TB from the old (backup, via old USB dock)
880
SSD - 256GB from the old (zfs storage2-ssd)0
M.2- 256GB from the old (ZFS cache)0
CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-U12S TR4-SP3
- Arcetic Freezer 33 TR 👍
170
Video cardUsed one from ebay or Allegro35
Delivery20

Considerations

  • Do I really need 16-cores/32-threads AMD 1950X? Perhaps 12-cores/24-threads 1920X for 2699 PLN (1k less!) would be sufficient?
  • CPU cooling fans may not have enough clearance to populate all 8 RAM sockets? Answer here.
  • Is it possible to use 6 RAM DIMMs? User guide says that allowed configurations are 1, 2, 4 & 8. This forum thread advises that any even number of DIMMs is perfectly supported.
  • Cases
    • 8x 3.5” HDD case or 6x 3.5” HDD + 3x 5.25” bays for my old Icy Docks bay?
    • What’s the min width to fit 155mm-high CPU cooling? Phanteks Enthoo Pro can fit max 193 mm cooling -> OK

References

Does the CPU cooler has enough clearance for all RAM DIMMs?

Tech It Out was kind enough to provide this response and the photo on the MoBo I’m interested (MSI X399):

And how does it look on the picture:

 


Sample quotations

From Morele.net

From x-kom.pl


Summary

After deeper deliberations (it’s hell lot of money! And I’m completely self-funded… Also Threadripper 2 is about to be released on August) I decided:

  • Immediately buy 2x 4 TB WD Blue disks and replace my Storage1 pool 3x 2 TB → 3x 4 TB which should give me enough disk space
  • Wait till August and see how (and if) release of new CPUs and MB chipset X399 change the situation.

Regardless of all, this was quite interesting exercise!

My current Home Virtualisation Lab “Wieloryb”

Wieloryb as a home lab

My current home server which I use many for virtualisation, serving also some net services is reaching memory and disk-space limits. I named this server Wieloryb which in Polish means The Whale.

Hardware

So far I have:

  • Lenovo M910t server
    • 64 GB RAM
    • 1x 1 TB SATA HDD (3.5”) – configured root ZFS Pool (RAID1)
    • 3x 2 TB SATA HDD (3.5”) – storage1 ZFS Pool (RAID5)
    • 1x 254 GB SATA SDD (2.5”) – storage2 ZFS Pool
    • 1x 254 GB (M.2) – cache for ZFS pools (Cache and L2ARC). I know, L2ARC should be mirrored but I decided that I will take the risk
    • PCI-e 4x SATA board to provide 4 + 4 SATA connectors (M’board + PCI-e board)
  • The three 2 TB HDD disks and 254 GB SSD disks are stored in Icy Dock 4-disks cage. The disk cage allows to connect all 4 disks through 4 SATA connectors
  • The disk cage is powered by an external PSU (as the PC’s PSU is not strong enough)
  • On-demand backups are made to a 4 TB SATA HDD using i-tec USB HDD dock
  • Remote management is possible thanks to Belkin Net KVM
  • Sending critical alarms via SMSes as well as forwarding of SMSes from my old mobile SIM are done thanks to Nokia USB stick and Gammu software
  • And finally – a small UPS

Picture of the lab

 

Software

For greater flexibility and separation between different tasks I decided to use Proxmox as virtualisation manager. No issues with that: it does what it should, small issues can be justified by a very attractive price (0 USD…).