Home Lab Update #2 – A Little Progress

In my last big Home lab update post back at the start of December I set myself a little checklist of tweaks, upgrades and little jobs that I wanted to get sorted before my next update in Jan 16. My little checklist was as follows.

  • ML10 v2 Memory & Storage Upgrade
  • Microserver Gen8 Storage Upgrade
  • Better Switching
  • Power upgrade in the loft

As per usual, unforeseen issues have cropped up which has curtailed some of these plans totally, and has limited the scope of some of the others. “Nothing in life ever comes easy”.

ML10 v2 Memory & Storage Upgrade

The memory and storage upgrade on the ML10v2 didn’t happen. Despite getting the cashback through for both the ML10v2 and the Gen8 Microserver the funds were drafted to a more pressing, automotive cause (damn Vauxhall engines!). I am however still running the ML10v2 as a Hyper-V Server successfully, but with limited capacity.

Microserver Gen8 Storage Upgrade

This is one job that I have managed to get sorted. My little Gen8 Microserver is now fully up and running in its final configuration. I did run into a small issue with regard to the availability of parts when trying to get the SSD and associated wiring ordered (see post – HP Gen8 Microserver: Power for additional HDD), but I managed to bodge together a very workable (and fairly elegant) solution that works a treat.

The Gen8 Microserver is currently running a 120GB SSD as a boot drive and had 2 x 2TB WD Red NAS drives running as a JBOD array using Windows Storage Spaces. I have another couple of 2TB HDD’s that i’m currently consolidating data from, but when thats finally sorted i’ll be able to upgrade the Microserver (again) to 8TB of raw storage in the Storage Space Array.

(As an aside, the server has been named “WinterHill” due to the WinterHill TV mast being visable from my rear bedroom window.)

Better Switching

I’ve now got both D-Link DGS-1210-24 running in the Lackrack, one is processing the iLO traffic from both the servers and the second is currently handling general network traffic in the lab. The extra Netgear 8 port gig switch is now redundant. The two D-Links are complete overkill for my setup but theres more than enough room to expand.

Power Upgrade in the Loft

Again, due to restrictions on funds i’ve not been able to progress this as i’d planned. Im still running the lab on an ad-hoc basis using a power extension cable hanging through the loft hatch. Not a very elegant solution, but it works when I need it.

Future Updates – A Change of Direction?

I’m currently toying with the idea of building (or buying) a workstation PC for use with VMWare Workstation to supplement or potentially replace my current lab setup as there is now a potential space for it downstairs.

I’m beginning to realise that my loft-space may not be as practical as i’d hoped – this coupled with the fact that it can get exceptionally cold up there means that i’m not using it as often as I’d like.

My next update will be at the end of March 16.

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