Homelabs, ESXi and Virtual Machines, oh my…

2 minutes

I dabbled in the VPS world before getting a bit disillusioned with how much I needed to spend, in order to get a modicum of performance out of these machines. I initially signed up with a VPS I found on LowEndBox (shoutout to the awesome deals one may find there), but three months hence, I got annoyed by niggling throughput issues, and the upcharge to move to a SSD RAID plan. In the meantime I started to frequent /r/homelab and one thing led to another, and for the last 7 months I have been teaching myself how to host at home.


So, without further ado, here’s my humble initial setup, while I learn the ropes.

  • Dell Optiplex 9020 with Core i7 4th Gen 3.6GHz
  • 32GB of non-ECC RAM
  • 2x256GB ADATA SSD in RAID 1
  • 8TB Seagate Data Store
  • Intel PRO/1000 VT Quad Port Server Adapter LP PCI-E EXPI9404VT

Admittedly, it’s non-server class hardware, but for my homelab needs it will suffice.

Virtual Machines

On it, I am running VMWare ESXi 6.5, the free version, on which I currently I have  five virtual machines chugging away Рall serving their good purpose.

  1. pfSense 2.3.4-RELEASE (amd64)
  2. Web Server – which is hosting this site, as well as sodhis.org, sodhis.net and edvpro.com along with the bevy of subdomains with specialized applications.
  3. Git server – running Gitlab Community Edition 9.4
  4. Oracle XE Server – running the XE (free) Oracle instance
  5. SOLR server – more on this in another post.

To be succinct, pfSense acts as a Router for my home, while separating my Homelab in another VLAN. Also separated into their own VLAN are all the IOT devices around the house – Thermostats, Printers, Refrigerators, etc. And yet another VLAN hosts any guests on a separate WiFi network.

Over the next few months I will detail how I implemented this infrastructure, if not for anyone else, but for me to document it somewhere.


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