Homelab Update

It's been a while since I posted anything. It's been a tough year on top of some tougher years before. However, I've been slowly growin the lab with some more SBC's (single board computers) and some new toys are on the way as well.

I wanted to posted an update with some info about what I've got coming and what I am hoping things should look like in the near future.


I've been planning on getting a new NAS setup to cover my redundancy as currently I am relying on a Synology 2 Bay NAS to keep files and data for my entire setup. This hasn't been a problem but I don't have any raid and just have the single backup which is currently untested! Yikes.

Before the end of 2023 I am looking to setup the new NAS but I am still waiting on parts to arrive, but here's a sneak peak of the board that I am going to be using...

Gigabyte Epyc Motherboard

This board is a Gigabyte MZ32-AR0 rev1.0, with an AMD Epyc 7302P (16 core/ 32 thread) and is very overkill for the NAS but it is Used from Ebay and cost £200. The reason for picking this board is because it has plenty of PCI Express and the CPU has plenty of lanes to use. This will help with upgrading in the future. I plan on slotting a GPU accelerator to this as well to allow for transcoding. One of the projects is to move all of my DVD's and Blurays to the NAS so that I can loft my films and increase the space.

New and existing toys

I've got a few things on the way and a few things active in the lab, I've separated them into lists for now.

Things coming:

  • 25U open frame 4 post rack (startech)
  • 2U Eaton UPS (refurbished)
  • 8GB and 16GB Turing Pi Modules
  • ECC RAM for the NAS (64GB)
  • Telsa P4 (used)
  • Some rack shelves
  • Dell X1052P switch (this replaces my 4 port poe switch and 2 gigabit tp link switches)
  • Compute Blade 10 node (backed but waiting for project to complete)


  • 1 x Qotom i5-8260U Fanless PC (running opnsense)
  • 1 x Turing Pi 2 with 1 x Nvidia Jetson Nano (4GB) and 1 x Orin Nano (8GB)
  • 2 x Rock Pi CM3 modules (1 in the turing pi at the moment)
  • 1 x Rock Pi CM3 IO board
  • 1 x Lattepanda (2GB)
  • 4 x RockPi 4B (8GB) with PoE hats and NVME breakout boards
  • 2 x RockPi 5B boards (16GB), 1 is using m.2 to sata breakout board
  • 1 x StarFive VisionFive RISC-V board (8GB)
  • 1 x M1 Mac (8GB)
  • 2 x NanoPi R6C (4GB)
  • Repurposed i7-3770 (4 cores 8 threads, 16GB) PC with a RTX 980Ti
  • Repurposed i5-10400 (6 cores 12 threads, 16GB) PC
  • 2 Bay Synology DS220j (4TB = 2 x 2TB)
  • Unused old R720 1U which I've barely used due to power and noise...shame

Things I'd like to get:

  • 2U mini-itx case, houses 2 m-itx boards (turing pi in here)
  • ERYING M-ITX B660i from Aliexpress (put in the other half of the 2U mini itx case)
  • NAS Chassis with SAS backplane
  • Plenty of NAS disks
  • 2 x 4U chassis for ATX boards
  • Plenty of Cat6 cable to fit the house with some 5gbe sockets for future proofing
  • 10GBE switch of some sort...
  • A couple of old dead laptops I'd like to repurpose into some form device
  • Solar Panels on the Garage to cover the costs of the servers

2U M-ITX rack from MyElectronics

Plan for 2023 - 2024


Really, what I want to do between now and start of 2024 is take my two repurposed machines and get them in to 2 4U cases, reduce their power supplies and get them in to the rack. At the moment both of them are running proxmox in a cluster together so it would be ideal to get them using less power and reconfigure them a little. I'd recently seen a ERYING M-ITX board using a Intel CPU which is 'baked' on to the motherboard. Whilst it isn't necessary for moving into the rack I'd like to add it to the 2U case that I've been looking to get from MyElectronics. This would create 3 machines running Proxmox and then adding the old R720 would bring Virtualization up to about 50 cores in total.

Rack and garage

I'd like to get my new rack into the garage as part of a cleanup and repurposing of the garage to be an office/spare room. Here is the current mess:

Messy garage

As you can see it is a bit of a mess... plan is to clean this up over the next month or so and going into the new year I'm going to convert this into a room with a desk, workbench and move the rack in to here.

Reducing desk clutter

Moving everything into the Rack or onto a work bench and getting most of the stuff off my desk should free my desk up again. The ideal goal is to move the following into the Rack:

  • M1 Mac
  • Xbox Series X
  • Switches

Essentially I only want my Steam Deck, work laptop and monitors on my desk. This means I'll also need to look at getting HDMI and DP to my desk from the Rack or look at a remote management solution...perhaps using one of the RockPi's or such. Food for thought I suppose.

Reducing energy costs and being 'environmentally friendlier'

I've been looking at solar options to power some of my devices for a while. I was originally thinking that my power consumption was low enough I could probably power most of the lab all day without pulling from the grid. I believe with the planned upgrades I'll probably need to pull from the grid a fair amount still to cover the cost of the new NAS and it's power consumption.

Still...My thoughts are to attach 2 x 400w panels to the garage roof and have a couple of spare 400w panels that can be setup in the garden. Although this might not generate the full rack power it would at least ease the power consumptions and give some greener energy to the rack.

The idea here is to also have it hooked up to a small battery system to retain some energy during the day and if the rack is idle and not consuming as much it would be able to keep some of the energy to use over time.

This is still in the early stage of thoughts though as the garage has yet to be converted but the idea of greener energy is something I'd like to factor into the rack as soon as possible.


Here's a quick shot of the plan I made for the new rack:

Here is my old network diagram, looking forward to updating this soon:


Click to view diagram in full size


Well you might be asking, what do I need with all this stuff. Well by day I work as a DevOps engineer so I love to tinker with the lab and learn new things. Most of the stuff in the lab is on proxmox which allows me to spin up and destroy VM's as needed, try out new software and play with Kubernetes.

The overal goal is to automate my whole lab, play with AI and run a nice Kubernetes cluster play ground.

Once my lab is settled more, I want to use the free time I will have to start work on learning some more C#, develop some small video games and contribute my lab to open source ventures but I feel this is probably a little way off yet.

Posted in DevOps, Featured, Homelab on Aug 09, 2023