Yet another year has gone by with very little activity on my blog.

I have learned a lot over the past few years and a huge amount has changed in my homelab. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to sit down and write blog posts about it, something which I intend to correct.

The aim of this post is to serve as a reasonably comprehensive update. Additional posts should appear in due course with further specifics.

Brief overview

Back in 2016 I bought a 1U Supermicro server and deployed this with pfSense as a firewall, putting my Virgin Media Superhub into “modem mode”. This was a great upgrade at the time but as the CPU does not support AES-NI I will be upgrading this again soon.

In 2017 I built a new custom whitebox as a replacement NAS.

The Gen8 Microserver that was previously handling this task was re provisioned as a second Proxmox host. My DIY SAS JBOD was disassembled, some of the parts sold and others re-used.

Around that time I ran out of ports on my HP v1910-24G and upgraded to the v1910-48G. This seems to be working well enough at present even with a decent amount of L3 traffic but I would like to upgrade to something newer and a bit more enterprise grade.

At present I’m in the middle of another long overdue migration. My two HP Microservers (both with i3 2120 CPUs) have served very well considering their specification. However, as I started to add more demanding tasks to them things rapidly started to fall apart.

Most recently I have migrated this blog from a VPS with Linode to a new VPS with BuyVM. I have no complaints with Linode at all but as I have several other VPSs with BuyVM and the price point is right for me, it made sense to consolidate.

Current State

A few months ago I bought two Dell R210ii servers to replace the Microservers.

At present one of the R210ii’s has been in “production” for a few months as a standalone node and has taken 90% of the workload from both Microservers. The Microservers are still running a few tasks and will eventually be replaced by a third replacement server.

I’m currently waiting on parts to get the second R210ii up to spec at which point I will be running the following:

PVE01-01 & PVE01-02: Cluster PVE01

  • Dell R210ii
  • iDrac6 Enterprise
  • Intel E3-1230v2 (4 Cores 8 Threads @3.30GHz)
  • 4 x 250GB SSD in ZFS Mirrored pool
  • Proxmox VE 5.4


  • Whitebox LogicCase SC-4324S (24 Bays)
  • Supermicro X9SCL+-F
  • E3-1240v2 (4 Cores 8 Threads @3.40GHz)
  • LSI SAS9211-8i + HP 6Gbps SAS Expander
  • 4 x Western Digital RED 3TB HDD
  • 8 x Toshiba P300 3TB HDD
  • FreeNAS 11


  • 1U Supermicro short-depth server w/ front IO
  • Intel Atom D510 (2 Cores 4 Threads @1.66GHz)
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 4 Port Intel NIC
  • 60GB Corsair SSD
  • pfSense 2.4


  • Synology DS212j
  • 2 x 1TB Toshiba DT01ACA100 - SHR Mirror

HPV-01/HPV-02 : Cluster pvecluster-01

  • HP Gen8 Microservers
  • Intel i3-2120
  • Mixed HDDs and SSDs
  • Proxmox VE 5.4


  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Raspbian
    • Corosync QDevice for pvecluster-01
    • Pi-hole

Future Plans

Once my Dell R210ii Proxmox hosts are as above I need to do the following:

  • Purchase or build a third host (PVE01-03) for more CPU & Disk IO intensive VMs & Containers - Likely a Dell R720xd or HP Dl380G8.
  • Decommission HP Gen8 Microservers & pvecluster-01.
  • Purchase or build a replacement Firewall with AES-NI support. I have considered virtualising this but prefer a physical firewall where possible.
  • Replace or upgrade my Synology and look into a better offsite backup strategy (A portable USB drive has too many pitfalls).
  • Look into switch upgrade options: Cisco Cat3k, Procurve or Juniper - it remains to be decided.

I have done some testing with the new Proxmox Qdevice support on the legacy cluster which appears to be fantastic for 2 node clusters. When I build my third Proxmox host this will no longer be required but in the interim I will be running this in a Bhyve VM on my FreeNAS server.

If all goes to plan more blog posts will be appearing within the month, let’s see how that plan goes….