I have a very nice home lab. Need one since I like to work hands on and run things as realistically like customers as I can. It has paid off many times and been used to demo a lot of things for a lot of years plus in the old days prepare me to do things at customer sites, and lately to produce realistic bugs as customer. It currently has 3x Dell R710 which I think are great servers. Very quiet, and easy to work on. I love the VGA port on the front feature. Since I purchased them I do not have the full iDRAC so that port on the front is important. I also have a FalconStor storage array that is also a Dell R710. It too is pretty darn good and supplies iSCSI to my lab. I have an EMC Lenovo PX4 and QNAP TS-459 Pro II providing NFS to my lab and the QNAP providing AFP to the household.
As well, I recently purchased an Intel white-box kind of server. The important part is the server board which is an S2400SC. I really like this server. Quiet, and it has full console / KVM built in. So a lot cheaper than the R710 but still pretty good.
I am running GA versions of vSphere stuff like Log Insight 1.5, vC (Windows 5.5a), ESXi 5.5, vC Ops 5.7.2, View 5.3 and VDPA. More importantly, I run SQL, email and other things in this very nice cluster. So people would notice if it goes down. My wife is an extraordinary chef and her recipes are on the Internet and her iPad. When she is cooking up a feast, my cluster needs to be up too so she has what she needs – and what I want! You should have seen – and tasted – the Prime Rib this weekend!
I will go into more details on things as time permits. For example, I currently have a management network, VM network, and a combined vMotion / Storage network. That is a major no – no but it has worked just fine – except for two times – for a long while. I have the gear to change that into a vMotion / FT network, and a Storage network. Plus I have the gear on order to add a 10 GB storage network as well. But more on that later!
Below is a picture of what it looks like. Not the best picture as I am trying to discretely hide something.