Homelab 2017 refresh

My faithful Lenovo TS440 home server has reached its peak potential as I have maxed out the 32gb memory limit of the Intel E3 v3 architecture.

My needs for more CPU power and memory is driven by the idea of hyperconvergence. Which means I use a single machine to be my router/firewall, VPN gateway, network storage as well as virtual machine host.

Those themes have been part of my home network design since 2010 or so, today’s hot technologies are focusing on containers (LXC), Docker, etc. So I need a more powerful server in order to be able to expand my playground into those technologies. The 32gb maximum on my old server is simply not enough when you have 5 different VMs that consume almost all your memory resources (windows 10 VM, OSX one and my FreeNAS one being the top users of 75%+).

On my new machine I have decided to move towards the Xeon E5 v4 CPU series and DDR4 which has lower memory consumption than my current LPDDR3 (1.2v vs 1.35v per ram stick).

The components of choice is a Supermicro X10SRL-F with remote management (IPKVM), and 64gb DDR4 to start.

For server chassis I’ll be reusing my Lenovo TS440, but first I’ll assemble and test my new server on a different chassis as to not impact my home router/network design.

Since I will most likely be moving away from VMware ESXi into Proxmox or another open source alternative this means that there will be a steep learning curve as I try to do the initial configuration of the network to run on a single node (hyperconverged). I will have to learn OpenVswitch with is a virtual switch that runs on unix.

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