My Own Private Cloud Part One – The Hardware

Purpose

I work from home. That means I often need (or at least desire) to be a relatively self-sustained node. For a lot of my work and research, that means I need a pretty well stocked and stable home lab environment. I’ve recently decided to refresh and improve my home/work lab. This series of posts will document what I have going on now (and why), and what I plan to have going on in the future.

In The Beginning

I love technology. I’m literally paid dollars to stay on top of it and help people get the most out of it. But for a long time my own home lab was a pretty pathetic creation. Before coming to work at Red Hat, it was nothing more than what I could fit on my laptop. Since coming to Red Hat it was a Dell T3500 Workstation running RHEL 6 and KVM. On and off, I would have a Satellite server up to help provision systems faster, but it wasn’t a mainstay.

Initial Hypervisor / Lab System

Welcome the New (to me) blood

***Everything going forward has to be prefaced with the fact that I am a complete and utter cheapskate. </full_disclosure>.***

After hemming and hawing about it for a few months I decided to pull the trigger. I needed 3 things:

  • A control server / utility server
  • A second hypervisor (along with my T3500) so I can high-availability tests with things like Openstack RDO and also survive downtime.
  • A NAS so I can do at least NFS-style sharing

So off to Google shopping I go. I finally decided on the following:

Second Hypervisor

Utility Server

NAS Storage

  • Western Digital MyBook Live 3TB appliance
  • I know. No redundant disks. The stuff I really care about is backed up to multiple ‘net-based services. This lab isn’t to serve pictures and be a media hub for my house. It’s a research and development lab/playground.

Gigabit Switch

  • TrendNet 8-port gigabit switch
  • The first one died in a puff of smoke when i plugged in the power supply. A quick replacement by amazon and its replacement seems to be working really well.

After months on the request list, my company also approved my request for a second hypervisor (a little late, but awesome). So now I have three.

Third Hypervisor

Next Up

So all of the boxes are unpacked and set with the recycling. Now what? Now we get to the fun part is what. It took me a few iterations to arrive at a toolchain that I really liked and worked well. The next few posts will be dedicated to talking about that toolchain and how I got it all set up and glued together. Here’s a pic of my not-very-well-organized-yet lab up and running.

My refreshed Home Computer Lab
My refreshed Home Computer Lab

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