Today it’s time for some homelab FuN! Although nowadays probably everybody is running his homelab in the cloud (aren’t you?), I still have an on-premises homelab (next to a test setup in the cloud). My homelab consists of a (heavy) HP Z800 (2x Intel Xeon, 72 GB, 8x 1 Gbit) server running ESXi 6, Cisco SG200 Gbit switch and a QNAP iSCSI/NFS NAS. My homelab has had different “datacenter locations” in the house, every time again I had to disconnect and reconnect all the cabling, on top of the required power lifting exercise with my Z800.
Recently I decided to build homelab 23 5/8″ rack, to overcome these problems. After reading this post by Frank Denneman, I learned IKEA is the best shop to go for datacenter equipment. In his post, Frank explains how he had mounted three DELL R610 servers using two customized Lack tables:
I bought two lack tables, a couple of L shaped brackets, 4 wheels and nuts and bolts. The first lack table provides the base platform. Only the tabletop is used, the legs are discarded and acted as backup if I made a mistake during the drilling of the holes in the legs of the second table.
My requirements were a little different, so I choose the IKEA Besta as the base and added four swivel casters type IKEA Rill. Total cost about 60 dollars / 33 euros. Note: I don’t why the price difference is so big between the US and Dutch Ikea….Anyhow, the setup required a few customizations; First of all, the Z800 is doesn’t fit entirely in the frame so I had to shorten the rear panel.
Because the components will generate some heat, I cut some cooling holes in the rear panel.
I also created a passage for the cables (and came to the conclusion that the Ikea Besta frame contains more cardboard than plywood):
Now it’s time to install the lab stuff…(yes, after this picture I moved the homelab from the radiator on left):
That’s how you build your own IKEA Besta datacenter. There’s only one power plug and one Gbit connection coming from this setup. The two small devices on the right are the Phlips Hue bridge and a device for the internet connected heating system. There’s also a HP N36L MicroServer in the rack; I used to be running vSphere on three of those servers but things were getting a little to slow. It now has Linux installed.
I hope this was helpful…enjoy building your own IKEA Besta datacenter.