The story of my home lab from a spare room to a war room

As most understood correctly I started to work for Citrix in April, some thought it as a fools joke but it’s not. Working for Citrix in product management is understanding material, how things work. At my former employer, we (@svenh) and I had a lab for testing, we used some older hardware for our testing. With me leaving, going to the vendor side of IT, the lab also was out of reach. Time to create a new lab.

Home lab

For my blog and my work, I find it important to know products, Citrix products but also other vendors in the market. My professional focus will be on workspaces but everyone who knows me understands that I will look beyond. So a lab and where do you start. I had one NUC at home running mainly my controller for Ubiquiti.

With some extra NUCs, a few monitors, a switch, some centralized storage and a router to connect to my home WiFi something is looking like a lab. So my lab right now consists of;

  • Three Intel NUCs, two Core i7, and one Core i5
  • Two 21,5″ monitors
  • A tiny Dovado router to connect to my Home WiFi but also to be able to use a 3/4G connection
  • A WAN emulator for simulating latency, easier than traveling around the world to find latency.
  • Simple storage offered by Seagate (old Synology was to slow for this)
  • Two 10ZiG Thin clients
  • A Raspberry Pi 3 model B
  • and last but not least an IGEL UDP pocket client.

Of course, my MacBook and a Chromebook are available so enough devices to play with. A picture of the lab is right here. I think it looks rather awesome.


Putting it all together you get something like this. Still, need to tidy it more, cables laying on the table and so on is not my thing. So with the NUCs finally installed, had some issue with the NIC driver – see my blog Creating a custom ESXi ISO image for your home lab NUC (NUC7i7BNH) environment I wrote earlier, time to build a lab.

The end result – for now

Although I’m far from the end result I want to automate the hell out of the lab. Next, to the DC, which I’m installing now, nothing will get installed without automating it. I hope, still finding how to combine it with my job at Citrix, to keep on writing technical articles on my blog. Articles about installations and configurations of products, Citrix or otherwise. I can’t write about certain topics in a certain way due to the glasses I’m wearing right now but there will be a way to write interesting stuff.

Things on my radar are comparison test, hence the two monitors. I decided that when I build a lab it will be a proper lab. This comes pretty damn close to a proper lab.

The coming articles will go into setting up the lab, parts of it or the automation process but only if it is interesting enough.

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