The configuration of my homelab that ran stable for most of the time (until now) includes the following compontents:
- a ESXi whitebox host, based on a former x86 office PC
- a custom built NAS/fileserver
- a cheap unmanaged switch
The ESXi host was built off a standard PC I got cheap, which had the following configuration:
- Intel Core i7 3770K
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- 128 GB SSD
- 1TB HDD
I moved the mainboard with CPU and RAM to a used Chenbro 4U ATX rack enclosure that was rusting in my basement, added 16GB RAM, kicked out the 128 GB SSD and replaced it by a 500GB model. I am currently using this as my main virtualization host with two storage “classes”, the SSD for most of the VMs and the HDD for e.g. the Exchange mailbox databases.
The NAS was a custom build using the CFI A-7879 mini ITX case. This is a really nice case comparable in size and features with e.g. a Synology DS918+. It may hold up to 4 hot swappable 3.5″ SATA disks, includes a small form factor PSU and offers expansion by at least 1 PCI/PCIe slot. I added a Gigabyte Atom Mainboard with 4 GB of RAM and 4 1TB disks I used to have laying around. Two of them were configured as RAID1 to store personal data, the other two as JBOD for movies and music.
- UPS (already bought it, yet not configured)
- NAS: 4×4 TB disks, new mainboard, replace system disk (PATA)
- ESXi host: Clustering and vSAN