Home Server/Storage/Lab Setup Part 1 – x: The General Setup

This will be a series of posts about the renewing and current setup I have done upgrading my home Server/Storage/Lab setup. I will go into the hardware I decided to use, and also a bit of the reasoning behind it. Included will be some tips and tricks and maybe the articles will help you make your own setup!

Setup Requirements:

The reason for having this setup is many fold. Primarily I use them to ‘automate’ my life and personal convenience but also for learning from and with them for my professional endeavors  I’ll try and list them below:

– Home Storage Server (Media Files, Program Files, Centralized Storage, etc.)
– Home Central Backup Location
– FTP Server
– Download Server (SabNZBd, nZEDb, CouchPotato, Sickbeard)
– Running my Home Servers (Virtual)
– Running my Test Labs for work (Virtual)
I have been running servers in one form or another for the past 10 years. Current generation could be considered Generation 8! Over the course of history the operating systems have varied from Windows to Linux to VMware ESX(i). The past few years I have had one server which suited my needs for both storage and virtualization within VMware ESX(i). But, with generation 8 I have split the above purposes in two servers.
Setup Overview:
The first one is a VMware ESXi server built on the new Haswell platform with only SSD storage locally. The second is a Sandy Bridge based ZFS storage server running ZFSguru.
Both each have several network cards connecting them together and with my home network. The VMware ESXi server will run my home servers (Monitoring, Mail, TeamSpeak, RedMine, etc.) primarily from it’s local SSD’s. My Home Lab will be run on disks presented from the ZFSguru machine using iSCSI. With or without the new VMware 5.5 vFRC (VMware Flash Read Cache) feature, depending on storage performance.
As said, these articles will detail my setup, the steps I have taken and the partly the reasoning behind this. It won’t be a tutorial in the general sense of the word, but it will contain lots of tips and advice which might help you with your own setup!
It will also serve as a general index for the articles:
1: The article you are reading right now!
(Will be added when written)
Hopefully these will serve someone to further their own knowledge and understanding of the techniques involved as I have also used many blogs out there of great people to learn all of this myself! It makes the (IT) world go round. 😉
Comments and questions are always welcome, either about the general setup here, or any separate subject in the articles listed above.

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