Well, I figure I should list out my gear as I finally picked up my third R710 and got it running and attached. It’s a moderate setup compared to some I’ve seen here 🙂 I’m less a hardware/network guy and more an OS and now Kubernetes guy.


  • High-Speed WiFi connection to the Internet (the black box on the bottom left).
  • Linksys EA9500 Wifi hub for the house.
  • HP 1910 24 Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch.
  • HP 1910 48 Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch.


  • Nikodemus: Dell R710, 2 Intel 5680’s, 288G Ram, 14 TB Raid 5.
  • Slash: Dell R710, 2 Intel 5660’s, 288G Ram, 14 TB Raid 5.
  • Monkey: Dell R710, 2 Intel 5670’s, 288G Ram, 14 TB Raid 5.
  • Willow: Dell R410, 2 Intel 5649’s, 16G Ram, 4 TB RAID 10.


  • Sun 2540 Fiber Array filled with 24 TB. It’s not on and I’ve not configured it yet other than to make sure it works as I haven’t needed the additional space yet.


  • Two APC Back-UPS [XS]1500 split between the three servers for uninterrupted power. Lasts about 20 minutes. Sufficient time to run the Ansible playbooks to shut down all the servers before the power goes out.


I bought the VMware package from VMUG so I have license keys for a bunch of stuff. vCenter is limited to 6 CPUs so the third R710 finishes that up. I can get the 6.7 software but haven’t pulled the trigger on that yet. My next exploration is Distributed Switches and Ports (classes this past weekend) and then vSAN and VLANs.

All three servers are booting off an internal 16G USB thumb drive.

  • vSphere 6.5
  • vCenter 6.5

Most of what I’m doing fits into two categories. Personal stuff and a duplication of work stuff in order to improve my skills.

I have about 103 virtual machines as of the last time I checked. Most of my VMs are CentOS or Red Hat since I work in a Red Hat shop, and a few Ubuntu, one Solaris, and a couple of Windows workstations. I am going to add a few others like FreeBSD, Slackware, SUSE, and maybe Mint.


  • pfSense. Firewall plus other internal stuff like DNS and Load Balancing. I have all servers cabled to the Internet and House Wifi so I can move pfSense to any of the three to restore access.
  • Jump Servers. I have three jump servers I use basically for utility type work. My Ansible playbooks are on these servers.
  • Hobby Software Development. This is kind of a dual purpose thing. I’m basically trying to duplicate how work builds projects by applying the same tools to my home development process. CI/CD: gitlab, jenkins, ansible tower, and artifactory. Development: original server, git server, and Laravel server for a couple of bigger programs
  • Identity Management server. Centralized user management. All servers are configured.
  • Spacewalk. I don’t want every server downloading packages from the ‘net. I’m on a high-speed wifi setup where I live. So I’m downloading the bulk of packages to the Spacewalk server and upgrading using it as the source.
  • Inventory. This is a local installation of the inventory program I wrote for my work servers. This has my local servers though. Basically it’s the ‘eat your own dog food’ sort of thing. 🙂
  • Plex Servers. With almost 8 TB of space in use, I have two servers to split them between the R710’s. If I activate the 2540, I may combine them into one but there’s no good reason at this time. I’ve disabled the software for now. They are very chatty and are overwhelming the log server. Movie Server. About 3 or so TB of movies I’ve ripped from my collection. Television Server. About 4 TB of television shows I’ve ripped from my collection.
  • Backups. I have two backup servers. One for local/desktop backups via Samba and one for remote backups of my physical server which is hosted in Florida.
  • Windows XP. I have two pieces of hardware that are perfectly fine but only work on XP so I have an XP workstation so I can keep using the hardware.
  • Windows 7. Just to see if I could really 🙂
  • Grafana. I’ve been graphing out portions of the environment but am still in the learning phase.


  • Work development server. The scripts and code I write at work, backed up to this server and also spread out amongst my servers.
  • Nagios Servers. I have 3. One to monitor my Florida server, One to monitor my personal servers (above), and one to monitor my Work type servers. All three monitor the other two servers so if one bails, I’ll get notifications.
  • Docker Server. Basically learning docker.
  • Kubernetes Servers. I have three Kubernetes clusters for various testing scenario. Three masters and three workers
  • Elastic Stack clusters. This is a Kibana, Logstash, and multiple Elastic Search servers. Basically centralized log management. Just like Kubernetes, three clusters for testing.
  • A Hashicorp Vault server for testing to see if it’ll work for what we need at work (secrets management).
  • Salt. One salt master for testing. All servers are connected.
  • Terraform. One for testing.
  • Jira server. Basically trying to get familiar with the software
  • Confluence. Again, trying to get used to it. I normally use a Wiki but work is transferring things over to Confluence.
  • Wiki. This is a duplicate of my work wikis, basically copying all the documentation I’ve written over the past few years.
  • Solaris 2540. This manages my 2540 array.

My wife is a DBA so I have a few database servers up, partly for her and partly for my use.

  • Cassandra
  • Postgresql.
  • Postgresql – This one I stood up for Jira and Confluence
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL Master/Master cluster. This is mainly used by my applications but there for my wife to test things on as well.

I will note that I’m 63 and have been mucking about with computers for almost 40 years now. I have several expired and active certifications. 3Com 3Wizard, Sun System and Network Admin, Cisco CCNA and CCNP, Red Hat RHCSA, and most recently a CKA.

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