Home IT Lab
- Cisco Meraki MX64 Firewall & VPN
- Cisco Meraki MS120-8 Core switch
- Cisco Meraki MR33 WiFi AP
- Dell PowerConnect 5424 Top of cabinet
- Dell PowerConnect 5424 iSCSI fabric
- Supermicro 1U8xl
- Dell PowerEdge R720
- Dell PowerEdge R410
- Dell PowerEdge R300
- Dell PowerEdge R210
- Dell PowerEdge 1950
- Dell PowerEdge 1950
Power, Storage, Backup & Misc
- Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI array
- Dell PowerVault MD1000 iSCSI array
- Dell PowerVault TL2000 Tape Backup
- Dell 2161DS Network KVM
- 3x APC SMT1500-RM2U
Continuous education is vital for a successful career. By better understanding emerging technologies and trends, we can sharpen existing skills and learn new ones.
One way I personally found that has helped me tremendously is by designing and building my own personal lab at home. A home lab allows me to dedicate the time I need to practice real word scenarios and test new technologies. Because of this it also helped me obtain vital certifications and develop a broader scope of technical understanding and capabilities.
My home lab has provided invaluable experience in:
- Storage systems, SAN/NAS, NFS and iSCSI.
- Virtualization technologies
- Network & cabling best practices
- Systems automation & configuration management (DevOps)
- Network security, SSO & Federated login
- Linux & Windows server integration
Currently, the lab is housed in a Dell 42U datacenter rack, with triple redundant APC UPS's feeding A/B PDU's. Networking is Cisco Meraki for Edge/VPN, core switching & WiFi access. Top of cabinet distribution is via a Dell PowerConnect switch, with another handling dedicated iSCSI traffic. Storage is provided by Dell PowerVault MD3ki and MD1k iSCSI disk shelves. The system is fully backed up to an on-premise Dell PowerVault TL2000 tape library.
The systems are all VMWare ESXi managed with VCenter/VSphere, and all all hosts are DRS & VMotion enabled. The virtual machines are a mix of Windows Server 2016 and SuSE Linux. SSO authentication for all systems including client VPN is provided by Windows 2016 AD/LDAP servers. Linux hosts provide various services such as MariaDB, Apache, NGINx, Plex media server, GitLab, Jenkins CI, IceCast, OwnCloud, Redis and Zabbix. Monitoring is done via PRTG, Zabbix and a full ELK stack. Additional systems are provisioned and hosted for others by special request.
Current systems status is dynamically updated via API and is available at https://status.home.aimana.com (temporarily offline as I am in the process of moving).