HomeLab Update August 20155 min read

Welcome to Muffin’s first Homelab rundown! I’ll explain what’s going on along the way, just sit back and scroll.

Before getting too much into it I’ll just leave this diagram here, it may help understand things a bit better:

Diagram August Update

MuffNET: My house.


From top to bottom:

  • Cisco 7962G
  • HP MicroServer Gen8 – FreeNAS {4x2TB} RaidZ1
  • Assorted HDDs attached to FreeNAS
  • NetGear ReadyNAS NV+ {4x2TB} RAID5
  • PfSense Box
  • Cisco 3750
  • HP 1810G
  • HP MSA50
  • Dell R210
  • Dell R710
  • Custom File Server
Top of Rack:


There isn’t really much to say about the phone, I have a few around the house connected via PoE, I’m currently rewiring the place with custom runs of CAT6 so most of these are currently in a cupboard, they hook into the 3750 for PoE and into CUCM virtualised on my virtual server.

The MicroServer {MUFFSTORE03} you can learn all about from here, it runs FreeNAS in RaidZ1 and replicates to an identical box over IPSec in another site. They both run 10GB of memory and mine has an E3-1220v3 and the other the default Celeron. This has a LACP link to the HP switch. The HDDs to the side are attached via USB3 and have data like game images or one Time Machine HDD, stuff that does not need raid.

The ReadyNAS {MUFFSTORE02} isn’t particularly fast but it works fine for storing misc. files and my music. I have around 800GB of music so this still has a lot of life left in it. I just leave it to do its thing in the background and replace drives when it emails me.

The black case beneath the MicroServer is my dedicated PfSense box running an Intel DQ77KB with an i3-3225 and 16GB of memory. The box is pretty overpowered but doesn’t pull too much power and does the job very well, I may look to get this rackmounted at some point.



Currently all the main switching happens on these two switches. There are 3 other switches in the house, one with the TV equipment, my room and in another room, these other switches are dumb layer 2 switches that have VLAN2 (LAN) untagged to them, apart from 1 TP-LINK one on my desk with VLAN trunking.

As you’ll see below, the next step is to replace my 1810G with a Cisco 4948 for some layer 3 goodness; currently routing is done via the PfSense box with a trunk port so moving the L3 routing to the switch should yield better throughput.



HP MSA50 array. This box is much louder than I would like so I am in the process of modding it to quieten down. Once this is done it’ll be populated with 900GB SAS disks connected to the R210 for Veeam backups and as a storage for databases. Databases running from this as a datastore should perform a lot better than running locally on my virtual host (R710.) I can connect it using SSF or fibre and I have a lot of fibre cards so I’ll go down that route.

The R210 {MUFFHOST05} runs a Xeon 3460 with 8GB of DDR3 ECC memory and 128GB boot SSD. It runs bare metal Windows Server 2012 R2 with the essentials experience to backup all the machines on the network including laptops when they are connected. There’s currently 1x 8TB disk in there and I’ll be adding a second as a mirror. Veaam also backs up here currently but will be moved to the MSA in the future. All non-data disks are backed up on other machines on the network and file history enabled.

The R710 {MUFFHOST01} is my main virtual host which runs fully licensed ESX and has 2x L5520s with, currently, 128GB DDR3 Registered ECC made with 16GB sticks, this will change and probably increase as I need to optimize the memory configuration. The disks are 6x 600GB SAS 15k in Raid10 for local storage. There are 4 NICs in LACP to the HP that will be etherchannel links when I get the C4948 running, this carries all VLANs.


The bottom case is a 4U file server case that can take 24 drives. This is MUFFSTORE01 and it hosts mostly media and has good spec (IMO) as it is my Plex server. I get about 10~ streams from this thing, it can probably do more but I have yet to have that chance to test it.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard 64-bit
  • 32GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz (9-9-9-24)
  • Intel Xeon E5-1650 @ 3.20GHz (6 Cores 12 Threads)
  • Intel 82579V Gigabit Network Connection x2 LACP
  • LSI 9211-8i x3 (IT MODE)
  • 12x 4TB 6GBp/s (40TB usable)

Redundancy is provided via tRaid by Flexraid with 2 parity drives, giving me a redundancy of 2 disk losses.


Misc Stuff:

MUFFHOST02 is a tower by my desk that I use to practice and do some real lab work without having to worry about breaking anything I actually use.


This is just a headless box that I use when I want to do some meddling/learning. Specs are as follows:

  • SuperMicro X8DTi-F
  • 2x X5570
  • 64GB DDR3 ECC
  • 1TB 7.2k // 240GB SSD

It runs ESX and is on its own isolated VLAN (99) that is not leased DHCP or DNS etc. as this is all done on Windows boxes virtualised on it (that’s why it’s a lab :P.)


Obligatory photos of my desk/junk around:

DSC02282 5D3_0234 DSC02283
5D3_0235 5D3_0237


ManorNET: Offsite.

The following are pictures of the setup I have left in my mother’s house for my family to use as their photo storage and as an offsite sync to my house. The MicroServer is identical to mine apart from CPU and the Optiplex box is used as a PfSense box. The router at the top is just an AP+Switch now.

Photo 09-08-2015 3 48 58 pm Photo 09-08-2015 3 49 05 pm


What now?

My next plans throughout the next few months will be to migrate to a switch based L3 routing as previously mentioned. I’ve currently got rails coming in the post for the R710 so that will be racked properly. Finally, I will mod and configure the MSA50 as storage for MUFFHOST05. I’ll post an update once this is all done, towards the end of the year most likely with any other new projects I’m currently working on.

Thanks for reading!

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