Current CaptainvOPS Homelab 2020

It has been a while since I posted updates about my VMware home lab. If you have followed my recent posts (here) and (here), I have made some minor upgrades to my original home lab. In the later part of 2019, I expanded my home lab an added an additional sister host luckily with the same hardware.

In short, this is a two host setup currently with 128GB DDR4 each for memory, and 1 socket 8 cores for compute, attached to my NAS that is providing ISCSI VMFS 6 storage.

The white QNAP here, is not providing storage for my lab, and only acts as the conduit to the black QNAP expansion bay attached which is solely used for lab storage. It is equipped with 4 WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB SSDs running as pooled storage LUN in VJBOD mode. In this mode I am just shy of 4tb usable capacity.

I do have some local storage for the hosts, that may or may not be used for vSAN in the future, but right now it is unnecessary.

Overall Capacity
Each host single socket Xeon processor with 8 cores, so combined that gives me 33.59 GHz total. Each host has 128GB so around 255.8 GB total memory. 3.17 TB usable shared storage. Each host has roughly 1.5tb local storage that I use for nested labs mostly. Each host has dual 10GB NICs. There’s also an additional NIC specifically for console connection which is super handy. If I need additional storage I can always carve it out of my white NAS, but as that runs plex, there’s a noticeable performance hit while streaming, which is the main reason I am using the black expansion bay to take all of the I/O from the lab.

Motherboard (x2)


SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SDV-TLN4F-O Mini ITX Server Motherboard Xeon processor D-1541 FCBGA 1667 


Cost: First Host 11/14/2017 = $789.99
Cost: Second Host 10/22/2019 = $929.99

Memory (x4)


Black Diamond Memory 64GB (2 x 32GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) Server Memory Model BD32GX22133MQR26

Cost: First Host Set 64GBx64GB 11/14/2017 & 10/31/2018 (693.34+698.99) 128GB = $1,392.33
Cost: Second Host Set 128GB 10/22/2019 = $539.22 ($259.99 ea.)                    

M.2 SSD (x2)


WD Blue M.2 250GB Internal SSD Solid State Drive – SATA 6Gb/s – WDS250G1B0B

Cost: First Host: 11/14/2017 = $89.99
Cost: Second Host 10/22/2019 = $49.99

SSD (x2)


SAMSUNG 850 PRO 2.5″ 512GB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7KE512BW

Cost: 11/14/2017 $459.98 ($229.99 ea.)

Case (x2)


SUPERMICRO CSE-721TQ-250B Black Mini-Tower Server Case 250W Flex ATX Multi-output Bronze Power Supply
Cost: First host 11/14/2017 = $159.99
Cost: Second host 10/22/2019 = $184.85

NAS Expansion

QNAP TR-004-US 4-Bay USB 3.0 Type-C (5Gbps) Hardware RAID Expansion Enclosure / DAS
Cost: 10/22/2019 = $199.00

NAS SSDs (x4)

WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB Internal SSD – SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5″/7mm Solid State Drive – WDS100T2B0A


Cost: 10/22/2019 = $459.96 ($114.99 ea.)

ESXi USB (x2)

SanDisk – Ultra Fit™ 32GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive – Black

Best Buy
Cost: 10/22/2019 = $35.98


APC SMC1500C 1440 VA 900 Watts 8 Outlets Pure Sinewave Smart-UPS with Smart Connect (Replaces SMC1500)
Cost: 10/22/2019 = $369.99 ($17.99 each)


TP-Link PoE Switch Gigabit 8 Port | 4 Port PoE 55W | Easy Smart | 802.3af Compliant | Shielded Ports | Traffic Optimization

Cost: 10/22/2019 = $59.49


Insignia™ – 8′ Cat-6 Network Cable – Gray
Best Buy

Cost: $89.94 ($14.99 ea.)

Home lab total cost as of today 1/25/2020: $5,580.70

According to my APC, the total power being consumed atm: 185 watts (+/-). This also includes the white NAS and other home network equipment.

The lab itself is used for various things now that I’ve been working with VMware customers as a PSO sub contractor. I have nested hosts for different vCloud Director labs, vRealize Operations Manager, NSX and vRealize Log Insight to name a few VMware appliances. I’ve been adding more to it over time based on customer needs. I also use this lab for teaching myself scripting when I find the time. I currently have around 50 virtual machines in total, but that can change depending on the need for other labs.

If you have a VMware homelab, please consider sharing the config at William Lam’s site