In order to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technology I’ve built myself my very own ‘HomeLab’. There’s quite a large worldwide community of people doing the same thing as can be seen on Reddit’s /r/homelab.

Here’s some photos and details of my setup:


  • Cisco UCS 5108 blade chassis
    • 2 x Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Server – 2 x Xeon E5-2650L v2, 128GB RAM, 2 x 600GB Intel DC S3500 SSD, 10GbE NIC
    • Other blades unused
    • Cisco 2208XP 10GbE Fabric Extender
  • Cisco 6248UP 10GbE Fabric Interconnect
  • Cisco 2960 switch for uplink to WAN
  • uCoustic 9210 12U Soundproof Server Cabinet


So what do I do with my lab?

The whole environment uses VMware’s vSphere with each blade server running ESXi 6.7 and being managed by vCenter 7.0. Thanks to VMUG Advantage I’ve been able to legally use Enterprise Plus licenses which enables features such as live vMotion, VM HA, DRS, encryption, etc.

As I study for exams and try to learn new tech nothing beats being able to setup, configure, and run the real thing in a controlled lab environment. My lab consists of a full active directory environment, certificate authorities, SQL servers, Sharepoint, Citrix, Parrot and Kali linux VMs, Microsoft ATA, etc.

If you have any questions or are thinking about setting up your own lab please get in touch!