first, I would like to thank everyone who posts so many cool tips and experiences here. I have started my homelab journey about a year ago and am pretty happy with the setup for now. This is what I am currently running:
- Topton mini-pc: with four 2.5GB ethernet ports - 4-core Intel N5105, 16GB RAM, 500GB NVMe - I am running proxmox on this. On proxmox I run pfSense (router and firewall), pihole (ad-blocker) and a VM with essential docker containers (authentik, diun, homepage, homebridge, npm, portainer, scrypted, uptime kuma)
- Main server: Fractal Design Node 804 (AsRock Rack EPC612D4U, Intel Xeon E5-2640 v3, 250 GB SSD (for Proxmox OS), 1TB NVME (for VMs), some HDDs for NAS. I am also running proxmox on this. On top of proxmox I run TrueNAS as (guess what) my NAS. I am passing through the RAID controller to TrueNAS. In addition, I run my pihole failover (HA with keepalived) as well as two VMs with docker containers. One for the *arr stack and the other for internal services, e.g. audiobookshelf, plex etc.
- NAS Config: 3 drives. Two 4TB drives as RAID 1 and one single 18TB drive for movie and TV backups. All drives are 1-2 years old.
- Switch: Ruckus 7150 switch with some Unifi Protect cameras and two 10GB ports. 12 port POE switch, which is enough for now, but with the cameras I would like to add all ports will be in-use.
- Location: Everything except the Main server is housed in an in-wall enclosure in our laundry room. The main server is in my office closet, which is easily accessible and I can run additional cables there “relatively” easily.
I would like to develop the setup further to have HA for all my services as well as reduce the energy footprint. I am reading a lot about kubernetes and proxmox clusters, but I am not sure what to do next. From a requirements point-of-view I would like to do the following:
- HA for all services
- In the best case, the internet connection is the only one without a failover. I am too cheap to pay for two providers, but I have read, how I can run internet through my phone in case internet goes out (which it rarely does).
- Minimal energy footprint
- Small “space footprint”. I do not want to put a huge rack anywhere. I would have the space to put a 9U rack on the opposite wall of the wall enclosure where I house everything (except the server) today. This would mean I need to reroute cables.
- 10GBit ethernet between my main machine (Macbook Pro M1 PRO) and the NAS.
- SSD / NVMe-only environment. This would only be a mid-term “requirement”. I will not be able to replace the 18TB drive anytime soon with SSDs without selling my car. that drive is not even a year old.
Based on what I have read, I thought about this as my next steps:
- Bring macbook and main server to 10 GBit. Is dual 10GBit worth it for the server? The current switch only has two 10GB ports and I do not want to invest in hardware, if I do not need to.
- It seems like I do not need kubernetes. It looks very cool in all the videos I can watch on youtube, but I do not feel I have a use case for it.
- Bring in a second mini-pc to run a proxmox cluster. Could I combine the three machines into one cluster and with this have HA for pfSense etc as well? Or do I need to have three exact same machines to run a proper proxmox cluster?
- Replace 4TB disks with SSDs
- Decide on rack or not. I feel like I could run the ISP-modem, the router-box and the switch still within the wall enclosure and only run the other things in the rack. this would have the advantage to have everything in the laundry room.
I hope what I wrote makes sense and a few people can tear this concept apart and have some better ideas :). I am especially interested in rack vs no-rack and cluster setup recommendations. Thanks again for some tips.