The LAB (Part 1)

This post is the first one in a series featuring my homelab (hereafter referred to as “The LAB”), explaining how I got to the hardware decision, the hardware install, the software setup and configuration.

So, as you could read in the Why? post, I recently was taken up in the Nutanix Technology Champions 2020 group, which was the trigger to act on my thoughts I had all year on (re)building The LAB. First thing crossed my mind is that I want to be able to run Nutanix CE on here, and maybe later do some experiments with AzureStack. Next thing was that I didn’t want to spend an arm and leg on the hardware, so I checked out the usual suspects:

Although nice and easy, I found it a bit “light” on the hardware specifications (mainly the # of CPU’s), so did some more checking. During that search I found this really good review by Chestin Hay on the SuperMicro 5028D-TN4T, which is not as small as the 3 options mentioned first, but it has 8 cores and supports up to 128GB of RAM. Now I was interested, so I checked out this configuration. Checking the Wiredzone.com website and I found out they have a similair setup, but with 12 cores. So created a configuration and then looked at the shipping costs (around $300), which put me back as it also has to pass through customs. But at least I had an idea of what to order, so I decided to go to the pricewatch section of tweakers.net to find the best deals for the required hardware. The bundle was not available in The Netherlands, so I decided to get all the components and do the assembly myself (going back to the old days).

Bill of Materials (BOM):

What? Description #
Motherboard SuperMicro X10SDV-12C-TLN4F+ 1
Chassis SuperMicro CSE-721TQ-250B 1
RAM Samsung M393A4K40CB2-CTD 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz ECC 4
SataDOM SuperMicro 32GB Superdom SATA III 1
SSD Samsung MZ-76E1T0B 1
HDD WesternDigital WDC-WD40PURZ 3

I made one mistake ordering the hardware in relation to my selected Hard Disks. I wanted to order the WD RED, but somehow ordered the WD Purple series. These are optimised for video recording (loads of writes) and not as balanced as the RED series, but still decided to go ahead with these (delivery of new would take some extra time, and I want to upgrade to all-flash in the future anyways). Although I can fit 4 HDDs and 2 SSDs in the chassis, there is a hard limitation using Nutanix CE of 4 disks and a maximum of 18TB, so therefore only 1 SSD (cache/oplog) and 3 HDDs.

Next up, the assembly and configuration

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3 Comments

  1. Finally a post of my favorite Nutanix Tech. Champion 😉

  2. Keep up the good work.
    Looking forward to read your new posts.

  3. Great start, looking forward to reading through this series! #NTC2020

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