Building own datacenter – this time at home

Datacenter in home ? Why ?

So a natural question would be why for whatever reason you would like to build a “datacenter”  ( quoted on purpose ) in your piece location of home. Well for 99.9%  of people the  answer would be “I would never have one“. Well I’m in that 0.1% and the reason is simple … well its even more than one. Its passion to IT and the drive to learn & do cool stuff.

For this reason several things at the piece of my home has changed:

  • Internet connection is now upgraded to fibre of 0.5 GB
  • Public IP address space of /29
  • Internal home network secured with customised APUboard to be edge router
  • Managed switch to introduce VLANs
  • Strong wireless with ubiquiti
  • And I think the most interesting ….. the server


Networking with “learn as you go”

Since apart of just application/server/development I also try to do electronics and this subject is also interesting for me I decided that router given to me by my provider is far away from being “cool” and fully under my control. So I started off with good old desktop station. But that kicked me back to so called “router on a stick

Since I wanted to have better experience I decided to move on and by pure luck I found this board  . And since then I already have 3 of them. How come ? Well they just connect much more than just networking. I can use them to learn linux kernel patching skills / I can use that board to connect world of software into world of electronic devices made by me and what else …. ohhh yes … and its my gigabit ethernet port (3x of them ) edge router which in return allows me to learn all tricks about networking/routing/vlans/troubleshooting 🙂

If that would not be enough I harvested my old dell laptop and plugged in Erricson Mobile Modem (3G) which now gives me alternative internet in case of failure 🙂  wow + wow + wow 🙂

So here is how one looks like without enclosure



And there it is 🙂 If you would have any questions about this small devil – just let me know 🙂 I will be happy to try provide you with more answers.


That was fun – but where is the server ?

So the whole point of here would be having a server which I strongly believe is not about “how much did it cost ?” but all about “what can you learn on it?“. If you already see this difference then ur one step ahead of others most probably.

Now at this point I will not be pretending that I know hardware really well … I don’t 🙂 and thats why good friend of mine with super uber eXperience has helped me to put together a kit list which turned out to be a great server for learning purposes.  Below you can see table of what we have concluded to be best :

Type Product Comments Link
Motherboard Asus Q170M2 Chosen of 2 build in ethernet ports https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Q170M2/
PSU Corsair VS550 – 550W To have enough of spare power
Enclosure Antec ISK 600m Just cause it looks cool 🙂
HDD ( data ) HGST 4TB 3.5″ 7200RPM 3x of them – RAID5 – used for data
HDD ( os ) HGST 500GB 2.5″ 7200RPM 2x of them – RAID1 – used for OS
Processor Intel I7 6700 To get the most out of it
Memory Hyper Fusion [email protected] 16GB 4xthem – to max out the board. Max the fun

Now this is what we call server for fun. At this stage you would ask what will be running on that box …. well KVM for virtualisation and openVswitch to play around with SDN.

So was it scary to put it all together ?

Ohhh hell it was 🙂 I felt like getting really fragile lego pieces and the fact of me being so excited didn’t really help 🙂 So I’m attaching couple of better photos during the build out up till the first boot 🙂 enjoy!


2016-07-05 195117 2016-07-06 073927 2016-07-06 080504 2016-07-06 081813 2016-07-06 083100 2016-07-06 090849 20160706_081212 20160706_102301



Thats it for now folks 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this short adventure. We will be using those toys mentioned in this post quite soon and will definitely have more fun! So stay tuned!



  1. Have you checked out XenServer? With enough RAM, you can pretty much run unlimited instances with that much processing power.

    On top of that, add VyOS, which you already know to do. Then you can run an IPSEC tunnel and OSPF to connect to your cage. Don’t need to pay your provider for IP addresses at that point, you can just route them through the colo.

    Version 7 has improved support for GPUs, OpenCL and CUDA if you need that kind of thing.

    That’s what I do anyway 🙂

    • @Brian: Hey , I have checked the XenServer and compared it in mass production farm against KVM. The big focus points were performance and automation around operations on it. So with KVM results were significantly better than on Xen. Also updating Xen itself was a bit painful ( dont know how do you approach that matter).

      In terms of networking I have chosen for this way to learn SDN. Vyos is indeed my choice for frond end and further down the road I will be simulating “customer environments” living on that box. the /29 is there just because I was able to get it ? which seems to be stupid to give away like this nowadays .. but hey ? got it
      Also for VPN have you seen this … https://www.softether.org/1-features ?

      For automating hypervisor I’m looking into https://www.cupfighter.net/2016/06/cosmic-5-1-released

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