Like many people in IT, I’ve been running a home lab for several years. My home lab has become progressively more complicated over the years as I’ve layered in new technologies that I want to explore and added new services to my home network. Hardware My home lab runs mainly on low-power Dell OptiPlex ultra-small-form-factor (USFF) hardware. I wanted this lab to be always-on - so small, quiet, and energy-efficient hardware is a must-have.
Just as a motorhead might get their endorphine fix attending a vintage car show, I browse r/homelab almost daily and fawn over the beautifully-curated racks full of enterprise grade hardware sitting in some random person’s apartment. I often get the feeling that I won’t be truly satisfied until I have a few racks of my own, full of routers, switches, servers, and disk shelves. What would I do with them? Aside from stress-testing my home’s electrical wiring, I really don’t know.
“Was that in the notes?” “Where’d you learn that?” “How do you just know that?” These are all questions I’ve been asked, in one form or another, over the last 10 years of working in IT. The situations vary, but there’s a common thread to each - an issue identified, a problem solved, a better way to complete some task. Most of the time, I don’t answer. How do you explain that you knew that one specific thing because of the three hours you spent last month sitting in your cold basement, begging your production NAS to start back up after an upgrade?