Home Data Center Redesign


As I continue down the path of all things Software define, one of the things that has struck me is the continuous innovation of form factors.  Take the Intel NUC, Apple Mac Mini or other custom SFF solutions as an example.  Manufacturers are cramming more and more in tiny spaces and as technology advances in die shrinking causing less heat dissipation and less electricity to power, smaller form factors are moving rapidly into the fray.

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These new Form Factors are allowing for massive performance packed in smaller packages without all the environment disadvantages.

This got me thinking about the home lab which has gone through several iterations over the years.  As these newer technologies come out, I started to plan on moving away from traditional server/rack architecture and will start moving towards a SFF (Small Form Factor) methodology with everything.  The start of this was replacing my Xeon D Home Servers with Intel Skull Canyon NUCs.  My employer, in cooperation with Intel has provided me one Intel Skull Canyon NUC and I have purchased an additional two to create the 3-node cluster.  I will be expanding this to a 4th in the next month or so.  This is so that I can bring the one provided to me on the Road to do demos and leverage my cluster at home to continue to build out the Demo content I’ve been creating the past couple months.  This is essentially Phase Ia.  Phase Ib will finish with the additional node, a smaller switch, and a custom rack build for the units and the switch.

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Phase II will start to replace and consolidate my current storage, my custom All-in-one running FreeNAS and my EMC/Lenovo PX4-300d. These will be collapsed into a single solution (undecided, possibly a higher end Synology).  The Supermicro Rack will be removed and another desk piece will go in it’s place to house the “mini-datacenter.”

This will all be done over the next few months to be finished by mid-winter, 2017.

Stay tuned for more posts as I continue to execute on the plan to miniaturize my home data center.

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