Home Lab: The Start

MacMinis under the desk
MacMinis under the desk

So I’ve started building a home lab. I have my MacMinis, my Gig 16-port switch, a new power surge bar and a DVI 4 system KVM (includes support for USB, sound and MIC). All that’s left is the keyboard, mouse, monitor and the new home NAS I ordered (12TB of space). From this, I’ll be able to play with pretty much anything I have.

The MacMinis themselves have the following:

2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x8GB
1TB Fusion Drive


This should make them beefy enough for the number of virtual machines I’ll run. I expect that I’ll probably have at least one vCenter vApp, a View Connection server, a View Security server, a Workspace vApp and then whatever I build from that (probably another 5-8 VMs). This configuration, however, likely could handle more. The Fusion drives (sounds like the NSC-1701) will make good candidates for vswp locations as they’ll be able to leverage the faster drive for better swapping if I really push things. Realistically these are not faster than SSD but they are cheaper. Basically, this is the closest happy medium I could get between a traditional SATA and an SSD.

What’s nice is that the shelf, I believe, has enough room for one more if I decide to add another for personal use (gaming MacMini). For now, it’s perfect in that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and yet, provides me with the necessary means of what I need to be able to support myself with something that I can use for my own education.

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