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2018 - It continues to grow

Over time, as I accumulate more and more consumer hardware, my home lab grew and changed. Below is the upgraded janky hardware for FreeNAS:

  • Intel i7-4790K
  • 32GB (4x8) DDR3 RAM
  • Asus Z97 Motherboard
  • Syba SATA PCIe Expansion Card
  • 4x4TB HDD in RAID 10
  • 3x 480GB SSD in RAID 5
  • 2x120GB SSD as Mirrored Boot drives
  • Thermaltake Core P5 Open Air Case

It was also around this time I added an UPS to the setup (at last) to protect against random, momentary power outages.


As I learn more and more about IT, I was slowly reaching the limit of the consumer-grade motherboards in my homelab. Around this time, I found a great deal on an AsRock Server motherboard, And so it begins my next phase of Homelab, where I use server grade hardware in a DIY mounting solution. Very jank. This time, the server runs ESXI (free license) as the hypervisor, with everything else virtualize underneath.

  • Dual Intel Xeon E3-2630L
  • 128GB (16x8) DDR3 ECC RAM
  • AsRock Rack EP2C602-4L/D16 Motherboard
  • 3x 1TB HDD on onboard SATA controller, pass-through to one FreeNAS VM
  • 3x 2TB HDD on PCIe SATA controller, pass-through to another FreeNAS VM
  • 3x 480GB SSD on onboard SATA controller, pass-through to a third FreeNAS VM
  • 3x 120GB SSD, used as ESXI VM Datastore

For networking, pfSense was transfer to a small NUC-like device, from Qotom Mini PC. I have also acquired a 16-Port gigabit Netgear Smart Switch that have basic VLAN functionality to start learning about VLANs.

Server case was too expensive at the time for me, and I had a lot of scrap wood around. So I decided to build a hanging wooden "case" to house the server on.