Home Lab

Home Data Center

Yeah whatever! So not quite what that header image shows but you gotta dream big right?

Anyway, my current home lab is tiny. Bigger than it was a little while ago but still not as good as I’d like. A lot of the parts I bought randomly on eBay or the murder site my local craigslist. Surprisingly you can get a lot of cheap stuff if you are willing to risk your life. In a dark alley. At night. Behind a bar. With no clothes on. Wait wut?

So I’ve been saving for a new home lab upgrade. Unfortunately, I spend all my money on ice cream.


Ummm..what's the benefit of all this again?

A VM home lab has tremendous benefits when you are a nerd. You can use it to help when studying for certifications. Wanna get your LPIC? Spin up a few Linux servers and go to work. Or how about MCSE? Build a whole active directory domain, configure GPOs, DNS, Exchange, etc. You can manage your whole home infrastructure out of a few VMs.

Also, if you are already working in the industry, it’s good practice to play with the technology and stay sharp. You don’t have the worry about destroying something which will cost the company dollars as you can just rebuild it again anytime.

Anyway, this is what I’m currently rollin’ with:

CPU & Mobo

2x – Intel NUC D54250WYK – 4th Generation Intel (Haswell) i5 proc.
1x – Intel NUC D54250WYKH – Same as above but just a little fatter to fit an additional 2.5 inch drive.

These will be used as my ESXi hosts.


6x – Crucial 8GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM 1600 – Fully populated both slots on each NUC.


So there are some random msata SSDs in each NUC. Not all the same vendor and not all the same size.

I do however have a 8TB Western Digital My Cloud EX2 which does iSCSI which I’ll use as storage for most of my VMs.

Boot Drive

3x – SanDisk Cruzer Fit 8GB USB 2.0 Low-Profile Flash Drive

These will be perfect to boot ESXi from. Super low profile and super cheap!


1x – ASUS RT-AC5300

This router is pretty badass. Got it since my wife keep complaining about wi-fi on her shitty iphone. Also it looks like an upside down dead cockroach.

1x – Linksys SE3008

Yeah! Yeah! I eventually need to get a better managed switch. However, for now this unmanaged switch will do what I need.

Data Center

Yeah it’s pretty ghetto but my closet is a pretty convenient data center. Currently my cable management atm is a mess, which I’ll fix up sometime soon.


So yeah, I'm a crazy geek. Gadgets, video games, technology, you name it. I also enjoy being outdoors snowboarding, hiking or biking. Yey! I'm probably the coolest person you'll never meet.

WordPress Security