Time to replace my Homelab – Part 1

My current homelab contains 2x HP ML10v2, 1x HP Microserver Gen8 and 2 Switches (1 Mikrotik Cloud Switch 24 Port, Zyxcel 16 Port). This setup was sufficient for a long time. But due to the increased resource requirements of some VMware products and my activities with vROPs, Log Insight and other solutions I require more resources. Furthermore I would like to reduce from 3 to 1 server and run more activities virtually based on the lab scripts from William Lam.

Current Setup:

xmesx01eIntel® Pentium® G3240 (3.1GHz/2-core/3MB/54W)32 GB1x 240GB Intel SSD1x HP Quad Gbit NIC
xmesx02eIntel® Pentium® G3240 (3.1GHz/2-core/3MB/54W)20 GB1x 240GB Intel SSD1x HP Quad Gbit NIC
Storage (Freenas on HP Microserver Gen8):Intel® Pentium® G2020T (2.5GHz/2-core/3MB/35W)16 GB4x 2TB WD RED1x HP Smart Array P410 + 512MB Cache Modul + Battery

New Setup:

Type:HP Proliant DL380 G7  
ChipsetIntel  ®   5520 Tylersburg + Intel ICH 10
CPU TypIntel ®  Xeon ®  CPU L5630
CPU Speed2.13 GHz
Cores / Threads2 CPU(s), 4 Cores per CPU, 2 Thread(s) per Core, 16 total
L1, L2, L3 Cache32k+32k,   256k,    12288k (12 MB)
Memory32 GB DDR3 ECC 
Installed8 x 4 GB
SAS - Controller:HP Smart Array P410i Controller
Controller PCIe:1x GB LAN Broadcom PCIe Karte
2x Fiber Channel Finsar Singel Port PCIe card
Disks8x 2,5“ SAS HDDs 

The plan is to extend the machine with 8x 146GB SAS disks and additionally upgrade the memory to 144GB at least. The FC card will be removed as it will not be used in my Homelab.

If someone is interested in buying one or two HP ML10v2 please send my a message.

to be continued …

Lenovo ix4-300d SSH, root home directory and cronjobs

Couple of weeks ago I got my hands on 3 Lenovo ix4-300d storage boxes. These boxes are no longer produced and sometimes you can get them really cheap. First I had plans to use them as iSCSI storage for my home lab but the performance is not good enough. Therefore I decided to play around with one of the boxes to see what is possible.

I started searching in google about SSH access. Outcome was great blog post which contained a how to enable SSH.

Steven Breuls SSH access ix4-300d

In short just access this page http://[NAS IP]/manage/diagnostics.html and you can enable SSH and set a password for root.


Username : root
Password : soho + password (if password = VMware ==> sohoVMware )

As soon as you have successfully logged in you can change the password by simply running passwd like on any other linux. Afterwards the soho part in the beginning of the password is no longer required.

Next step is to create a home directory for the root user. You have to login to the web interface and go to shares. Now create a new share called root.

Attention: This way ensures that the folder is persistent. If you create it using ssh and mkdir it will be lost after reboot.

In your SSH session you can go to /nfs there you will find all your shares.

cd /nfs

Next step is to change the home directory of the root user to /nfs/root.

vi /etc/passwd

You have to adjust the first line like on the screenshot below.

Save the file and reboot the NAS.


Restart using the Web interface.

Now login using SSH and check that root has now /nfs/root as home directory.


Limitation: SSH key authentication is not working due to the wrong permissions of the home directory.

In the new home directory you can now create folders and file on commandline they will be persistent only the main folder of the nfs has to be created using the web interface.

If you would like to run schedules jobs (cronjobs) you can edit the crontab file in /etc. It is also persistent.

I’m using the Lenovo 1×4-300d as backup system for my vServers.

Extension of my homelab

Today I have ordered a Second HP Microserver N40L. Additionally 8GB for my old and the new Microserver and the Remote Access Card. I will create a Cluster with both Micro’s and my ML115 G5 using EVC. This will be enough power to run all my test as preparation for the VCP 5 exam.