The only thing I can think of when I see home setups like this is: OMG, the ecological impact of their home setup. Both in term of daily electricity usage and rare materials.
The rare materials argument can go both ways - most home labbers seems to be using recycled machines, extending the lives and usage of the rare materials. OTOH it probably also drives up the demand for the products in the first place.
But running older server grade hardware is not good for your electricity bill.
I think you need to differentiate between “infra at home” and homelabs.
We had a whole desk setup full of HP Microservers at work, to play around with a few things in cluster mode - exactly the thing that would qualify as “homelab”. They usually didn’t run more often than a few hours per week. It’s hardware that mimics certain production criteria, exactly the stuff you can’t just recreate with VMs.
I was expecting this story to end with “then I moved down to a single passively cooled celeron SoC once I’d worked out it could do everything I needed” but alas it didn’t
Nice. This reminded me that I should try to write down my own home lab history, I realized that my first home server has a Pentium Pro with 48 MB of RAM, sometime in 2004. Time flies.
I can remember my first but not many of the ones between: Pentium P200 with 32M RAM, beige desktop form factor box
I had an even older machine (using an IBM Deathst….Deskstar, 5.25”!) running as my firewall, OS was OpenBSD 3.4. I still run OpenBSD on my firewall, lol.
Wow! And my homelab for the last 9 years has been an old beat up Lenovo laptop with the cheapest external usb-hard drive available..
Old laptops are the best, they even have a built in battery backup that’s already tightly integrated with the OS!
3 months ago I had a similar setup to yours, a ThinkPad X201 with a nice SSD and a USB3 HDD over a USB2 port.
Yesterday I had one of the things I learnt with that laptop solve a 2-week partial outage at $WORK.
Never underestimate what one can learn from hobbying. Keep it up!
Cool! If I have myself a house I would make a homelab. But now only in my dream. :(
Hey, start small! A Raspi cluster is cheap and fits in your drawer.
ths, you’re right, bro. I have watched some videos about raspi 4.