Programming, DevOps, Homelabs & more

May 22, 2021

Homelab Tour

Today, I'm going to be telling you about my small homelab which I started putting together only in November last year. I don't have much space and wanted something quiet and power-efficient. The HPE MicroServer Gen8 seemed very popular online and could be picked up relatively cheaply on the second hand market, but the hardware seems to be showing its age. After a bit of research and an incredible review by ServeTheHome, I settled on starting out with the HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus.


HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus

  • CPU: Intel Xeon E-2224
  • RAM: 32gb DDR4-2226 ECC (Upgraded from the standard 16gb)
  • OS Storage: WD Blue 500gb NVME (PCIe card required)
  • Bulk Storage: 4x 4TB WD Red Plus SATA

The specs are nothing to write home about but it is perfect for my needs (for now) and the form factor is great; it easily fits on a bookshelf. I also purchased the iLO enablement kit which is required to utilise iLO on this particular model.

Raspberry Pis

I have a cluster of 4 Raspberry Pi 4B's that used to act as my home lab before I bought something a bit more robust in the MicroServer. My intention for these is to set them up in a kubernetes cluster as workers. I'll probably need to run the master in a virtual machine as they just won't have enough memory for that, but they should be perfectly fine as workers.

Network Gear

Right now, I have a fairly cheap ethernet switch and a wireless access point. I am looking to upgrade to a managed switch in the future so if anybody has any recommendations, please let me know!

UPS - Cyberpower 1500VA/900W

I chose this one because it wasn't too expensive compared to the other options out there. It gives me plenty of headroom for what I need and also has x2no regular UK plug outlets alongside the x4 EIC C13 which is great for connecting my modem, network switch, and other items that just have a plug.

It comes with software that allows it to send a shutdown signal to a device if the power is out for a certain amount of time. My server runs 24/7 and being able to have it cleanly shut down if there is a power outage while I'm away or sleeping provides me with peace of mind, which is great.

The other benefit of a UPS is it always ensures that any connected devices have clean power.


I'm running Proxmox VE as the OS on the MicroServer. I’ve never used this kind of hypervisor before, but I have found proxmox really easy to get up and running with. There are a whole host of advanced features that I haven't had a chance to dive into yet.

There are a number of Virtual Machines and LXC Containers that form my homelab:

Proxmox Dashboard

Virtual Machines

  • truenas - This runs TrueNAS Core with the 4x 4TB hard drives passed through to it and serves as my home NAS.
  • pfsense - This runs pfSense Community Edition. I've talked about this in some previous posts where I've discussed setting up OpenVPN and network booting Ubuntu 21.04.
  • atom - This isn't running anything specialised, it's just a standard Ubuntu Server 20.04 VM. I use it mainly for testing, at the moment it's mainly used as a bit of a docker playground.


I try to keep everything in its own single container so that if there are ever any issues, I can just kill the container and create a new one from backup. It makes configuration way more straight forward.

  • pihole - A container that just runs pihole for DNS level ad-blocking across my entire network and is also used as DNS for all of my local infrastructure. As an example, I can access truenas by navigating to
  • minecraft-e2e - A container running a small minecraft server for some friends.
  • jupyter - A container running JupyterLab for easy access to notebooks from any of my devices.
  • code - A container running VS Code Server which allows access to VS Code from a browser. I don't really use this as much as I used to, but it is handy for not having to configure and install plugins on a device that I'm going to be using infrequently. It is also nice for getting access to a bash shell on devices that don't support that.
  • influxdb - A container running an instance of InfluxDB. I'm currently using this to store temperature data for a project I'm working on where I have a raspberry pi hooked up to a temperature sensor and then a Flask app to display the data. I'm planning to rewrite this project entirely using FastAPI instead of Flask with a JS framework front-end (most likely Vue). Watch this space for updates!
  • mongodb - A container running an instance of MongoDB. I'm not really using this at the moment, I had set it up for use with a project but that is on the back burner right now. It'll get some use eventually.
  • jenkins - A container running jenkins, at the moment it is responsible for building and deploying this blog whenever there are any updates! I intend to write about this later in my blog series on deploying this Blog. You can check out part 1 now which covers provisioning using terraform.
  • irc - A container running WeeChat for the few times that I do use IRC. I use Glowing Bear as a front end so I can access it from any device. I would definitely recommend this setup for anybody that regularly uses IRC.
  • bitwarden - I have only recently set this up with the intention of using it to self host bitwarden and still needs some work, but once it is up and running, I'll be writing a blog post about it. I have written about setting up OpenVPN on pfSense so that once it is all set up, I can access it from anywhere.


Well that's everything I'm running! As you can see from the dashboard, I still have a bit of headroom available and have plans in the future to look into setting up Traefik, getting a proper Kubernetes setup going, and some sort of smart home automation.

If any of you have a homelab or can recommend anything that's worth self hosting, please get in touch! Contact details be found here.

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