I made some fairly significant upgrades to my home lab a few months back and an update is overdue. Without wasting any time, here is the 2019 edition in all its glory:

My previous setup did what I needed it to but the storage situation was a mess. Lots of standalone drives with no real redundancy. I initially looked into a few options for addressing this including buying a NAS and building a NAS. Then I stumbled on Unraid. I was vaguely familar with Unraid but I never gave it a real look until recently. Unraid is super flexible with storage options, has a built in hypervisor, and makes standing up containers super easy. Ultimately the relatively low cost of used hardware and the flexibility of Unraid was the best combo for my needs. My plan was to build out a new server, shuck all the external drives, and migrate everything off of my ESX host (all VMs) to the new Unraid box.

After stalking eBay for awhile, I ended up with the following:

  • 2x Xeon 2650 v2 (16 physical cores)
  • 64 GB ECC DDR3 RAM
  • GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SSC
  • 46 TB spinning, 1 TB SSD (already owned the storage)
  • Fractal Design Define R5 case

The migration itself wasn’t trivial and it made me question why I created so much work for myself outside of work. I managed to get everything completely migrated to new containers/VMs on the Unraid server, with the majority of that going to containers. This also included migrating the physical Windows server that was running on the TS140. That newly freed up TS140 was repurposed into my development server. I am currently running Proxmox and a handful of VMs on there. I had a UPS die in the middle of all this (found out during a power outage, as seems typical) but luckily with the reduced power draw compared to the old i7 I can handle running everything off of one UPS.

You may have noticed I threw a pretty nice graphics card into a server. One of my favorite things to come out of this is the capability to do remote gaming. I have the GPU passed through to a VM on my Unraid server and I use NVIDIA GameStream and Moonlight to game on my Thinkpad. It has been pretty much flawless to this point. I am not a huge gamer and the GPU helps with some other interests (editing and such) but it has given me the ability to play modern games on high settings without a dedicated gaming computer.

No changes on the networking side of things other than that I now run all my home DNS through Pi-hole.