Lab evolution

(Initial writing Jan 2019) Continuation from: Evolution of my Home server/lab – Part 2

I came across a fantastic subreddit last year or a couple years ago now? /r/homelab, which led me to /r/homelabsales. And boy that was a mistake on my wallet over time, but I loved every minute of it.
was able to locally purchase and pick up my first ever rack-mountable server/host: Lenovo/IBM x3650 M2. the timing was great because it was my present to myself for my birthday that week.

Initially i had only a single 73GB drive that he provided with the system, couldnt really do much with it. I was able to get “in” with the head of IT to purchase 4x 300GB SAS drives for me to get a start on learning about serverland.
once i got those a few days later, I immediately RAID5’d them. i also had a few more drives on the way thanks again to /r/homelabsales.
over time i was able to migrate all my VMs over to this new host, and on top of that I needed to stop killing the whole network when rebooting the hypervisor on the whitebox. cause that became SUPER annoying

I got the hang of pfSense enough to install on dedicated system, hoooray for work e-trash again! nabbed 2x hp towers, one to be set up later on. Bought a 4-port GbE NIC for the “new” pfSense build. Changed the dual port in the whitebox to be utilized as an active/active bond and set as the main NIC for VM data, it helped prevent complete disconnection issues (I need to redo some ethernet cabling, really)

Some catch-up (written Feb ’21)

Gear acquired from E-trash bins in 2020:

  • PfSense build is now a small Acer microtower with an i5-2400 to benefit low power cost and AES crypto for use with future pfSense versions.
  • A couple PCIe WLAN+BT cards, added one to my main gaming rig.
  • Scored multiple laptops, new “daily driver” Dell Latitude E7450 w/ i5-5300U vPro 16GB DDR3, added a 250GB SSD. MUCH improvement compared to the 2-in-1 Asus transformer T100-TAM with a little Atom CPU.
    • Also an HP Probook 430 G1 running MacOS BigSur on OpenCore 0.6.5
    • need parts, but an HP Probook 430 G3(I think? It’s not nearby at the moment) with a 6th gen i3 or i5
  • Cisco gear:
    • Cisco 2821 Integrated Services Router
    • Catalyst 2950 Series 24p 10/100 Switch
    • Catalyst 3550 Series 24p 10/100 +2 GBIC Switch
    • 4402 Wireless LAN Controller
    • A case of multiple AIRONET a/b/g 2.4GHz access points.
    • A handful of IP Phones; 7911 & 7942g models
    • 5505(?) ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance)
    • Catalyst 3560 v2 Series PoE-24 Switch – I was so excited for this one to power my IP Cameras, but RIP, something mustve shorted prior to going in the bin, showing a blend of amber/green on all nearly LEDs, no connections working.
  • HP Rack Gear:
    • DL380 G6 – 72GB RAM – Dual Xeon E5640’s
    • STORAGEWORKS MSA70 ARRAY — this will be a while before i can attempt to use this, but it will make for a great DAS.
  • A couple old 16 Analog + 16 Digital channel NVRs (Bosch and Honeywell), may use these to consolidate before sending feeds to Shinobi?
  • A handful of Dell Wyse Thin clients:
    • 1 as Kodi Media Center for Plex
    • 1 running 3cx pbx server for VOIP services for the Cisco Phones
    • 1 as Home Assistant running HassOS
    • A couple more untouched.
  • A couple Rack Cable Management arms.
  • USB 3.0 Displaylink Dual Display Docking Station
  • A couple small UPS’s
  • HP KVM ( I wish it was IP however)
  • A couple PDUs


I just acquired xFi gigabit services and gateway, pending modem replacement to actually benefit from the speeds.