Following on from the previous article (available at this address), I recently adopted an approach that had long been neglected, namely setting up a real homelab with dedicated machines.
After much hesitation, I seized the opportunity that presented itself, believing that it was time to move towards this approach. So here we are with version 8 for 2024, comprising the following equipment:
- Mac Mini M1 ;
- MacBook Air M1 ;
- 4x Chuwi Larkbox X (Intel N100, 12 Gb de RAM DDR5 + 1 NVMe 512 Gb par hôte) ;
- My "old" PC tower, with a dual boot (Ubuntu LTS 22.04 et Windows 11).
As my role and ambitions have evolved, I've found it necessary to adapt my hardware to ensure rapid and optimal operation. From now on, my main focus will be on automating platforms, from infrastructure to middleware.
I'm also focusing on migrating as many of my services as possible to containers, based on a Proxmox + Kubernetes clusters.
My homelab has been designed to be a learning ground for specific personal and professional projects. Each hardware and software component has been chosen according to precise requirements, allowing the exploration of new technologies, the testing of system configurations and the simulation of complex environments.
I've taken care to optimize the energy consumption of each piece of equipment, favouring a minimum power/consumption ratio.
Tools and architecture
The 4 mini PCs are running Debian 12 and Proxmox VE 8.1, grouped together in a cluster to support the Kubernetes cluster. Specific details on the Proxmox and Kubernetes clusters will be covered in a dedicated document to come.
On the other hand, the Macs are equipped with podman and docker compose for container management, while my tower enables rapid testing using libvirtd, container execution via docker, and rapid creation of virtual machines with VirtualBox.
Working with my homelab has been an enriching experience. Every challenge encountered, from the choice of hardware to the optimization of software performance, has been a learning opportunity. These experiments have enabled me to take a step back from the real needs in terms of resources, thus contributing to their efficient use.
My homelab is constantly evolving. I plan to explore the possibilities offered by software-defined networks (SDN) and the integration of new equipment to diversify my experiments. My aim remains to expand my skills while keeping abreast of the latest technological advances.
I'll be distributing my configurations to various free public repositories (for the time being). Finally, some documentation will be entered to give more details about the thinking and choices made in my homelab.