My First Homelab

A couple of weeks ago I started my first IT Quest. Reading on numerous blogs about the homelabs most of the Virtualization Experts have installed I figured it was the first big step for me to take as well. After all a XenServer certification isn’t worth much in my opinion if you don’t get the hands on experience to really know what you are consulting about. And I’d rather not be depended on the test facilities at the clients I’m consulting.

So to keep my knowledge up-to-date and learn even more new tips and tricks, I’ve bought two whiteboxes, a NAS and a 8-port Managed Switch. All the ingredients for my First Homelab experience. (Thankfully collected from the Expert blogs I’ve read.


The hardware specs

I decided to use my savings for the new motorcycle (didn’t hear a complaint from my partner on that one) to buy the good stuff right away. So here’s the specs for the hardware that from now on will be known as my first Homelab.


The configuration of each whitebox is:

  • ASUS V Series V7-P5G43M (Towermodel)
  • 1 x Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 / 2.66 GHz ( 1333 MHz ) – LGA775 Socket
  • 2 x OCZ Platinum Dual Channel – SDRAM – 4 GB ( 2 x 2 GB ) – 8 GB total
  • 1 x Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual Port Server Adapter
  • 1 x ASUS DVD E818A6T – DVD-ROM – 18x – Serial ATA
  • 1 x WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS – 640 GB – SATA-300 – 7200 tpm -buffer: 32 MB


Additional Hardware:

  • 1 x Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage – NAS – 2 TB
  • 1 x Cisco Small Business Smart Switch SLM2008 – Switch – 8 ports
  • 1 x Laptop, provided by my employer, to be used as the management console.

So I’m all good to go for the next IT Quests to come …

The following sources have be read prior to ordering my own homelab configuration:
Gabes Virtual World » My new whitebox ESX home lab
NTPRO » A VMware High-Availability Cluster at Home
Yellow Bricks » My homelab

Esther Barthel
Solutions Architect at cognition IT

Esther has been working in different roles and functions as an IT consultant ever since she finished her Masters degree in Computer Science in 1997. She has worked as a web developer, database administrator, and server administrator until she discovered how Server-Based Computing ( SBC ) combined servers, desktops, and user experience in one solution. Esther has been specializing in virtualization solutions such as SBC, VDI, application, and server virtualization for over eight years now and is currently working as a Senior Consultant at PepperByte, where she designs and implements Citrix® solutions for both small-business and large-enterprise infrastructures scaling from 100 to 15,000 users.
In january 2014 her first book Citrix XenApp 6.5 Expert Cookbook was published by Packt Publishing.

Esther is awarded as a Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) from 2015 - 2017.
Esther is awarded as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in 2017.

Esther is a Citrix Certified Expert – Virtualization (CCE-V), Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility (CCP-M), Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N) and RES Software Certified Professional (RCP).

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