Homelab of Doom – Thanks to PernixData

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Some of you may have seen on Twitter that I was the lucky, insanely lucky, winner of the VMworld 2015 PernixData Force Awakens Homelab. Winning it was so shocking, I stared at the Tweetdeck ‘notification’ column for a good 5 minutes in disbelief but low and behold, it was true!

I’ve always been a huge proponent of homelabs for building, breaking, and in turn, learning. Prior to winning this, I had 2 HP Proliant tower servers running over iSCSI to my Synology NAS. I loved that lab… it was with me for my VCP-Cloud, VCP-5, and VCP-5.5 certifications and even learning Xen Server and Hyper-V. But, BRING ON THE SPEED!

The PernixData lab is loaded with 3 SuperMicro 5018D-FN4T’s each with:

  • 8 core Intel Xeon D-1540 CPU’s
  • 64GB of DDR4 PC4-2133
  • 64GB mSATA SSD for ESXi
  • 400GB Intel SSD P3600 PCI NVMe
  • 3TB Seagate Enterprise HDD
  • 1x 1Gbps IPMI NIC
  • 2x 1Gbps NICs
  • 2x 10Gbps NICs
  • Needless to say, these hosts SCREAM. EMC ScaleIO is serving up the capacity layer via the spinning disks while PernixData FVP is giving the performance over Intel SSD’s.

    As you can see, they also supplied some nice switches to get all this connected:

  • Netgear GS728TSB 24 x 1Gbps
  • Netgear XS708E 8 x 10Gbps
  • Beyond the speed of this setup, it’s also surprisingly quiet. Lab noiseI used a decibel meter app on my Nexus 6P to gauge the sound and as you can see, it’s remarkably quiet. That is 3 servers, 2 switches, and 2 NAS’s all running.

    I cannot even begin to thank PernixData, Intel, EMC, and Micron for putting this all together.

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