Lab Tips

General:

  • Create passwords that are easy to type.
    • There are moments that you do need to type them. In a lab setup it’s frustrating and difficult passwords will hold you back. Write them down or create a method for password creation.
    • Make sure the password ticks all the boxes. Capitals, Numbers, Special Character, min length=8. That should work for most tools and appliances.
  • Don’t put production data in the lab.
    • It’s a lab and parts of it should be able to go down or you might invite other techies to help you with stuff. With no data in the lab this should never be an issue.

Interested in my Lab setup? Click here.

Hardware:

Compute

In the current lab I have two NUC8i5BEH computers. They have 32GB inside however I’ve seen people put 64GB in there as well. Remember that in most setups, the memory is always the bottleneck. In each NUC I have a m.2 SSD of 500GB.

Storage

Make sure you have enough. You probably want to make snapshots and some more. You want to try out stuff and not delete stuff yet.

Create a (NFS) share so the servers can have access to the same data without time being wasted on copying.

Tools

In the homelab, and actually always, it’s good to be able to reproduce your things quickly. Working in code helps a lot, however, running your your code, in a repeatable way is very important. I have created many things in the far past I can no longer recreate. Modern tools help you in recreating your stuff, over and over again.

Hypervisor Solution

Choose a hypervisor that is commonly accepted like vSphere or Redhat Virtualization or oVirt. Most of the tools will work great on this. Also, important, there is a great community you can query and you can post questions to.

Container Solution

Get at least one container solution in the lab. You can start for example with a Docker solution. It will allow you to spin up all kind of applications in no time. I also use Docker, to manage docker I use Portainer. This is a small Open Source tool to manage Docker. It makes it less complex and will provide you an overview with images, containers, volumes,etc.

AWX

AWX, also known as: Free Ansible Tower, is an API tool around Ansible. It is a very cool tool, with a very cool ui. Since the first time I used it I loved it. Just add your GIT repo’s and you have a graphical tool to execute your playbooks. Inhale also created a page dedicated to Ansible.

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