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Morning all! Haven’t posted here in a while, so I thought I’d give some updates regarding an older post - the one about my server/homelab. A lot (ish) has changed since January, so let’s dive straight in.

Hardware

While the Proliant featured in the initial “review” is still my primary server, I have given it a couple of upgrades. For a start, my network-storage needs are no longer handled by a shoddy WD Mybook drive hooked up over USB 2. The server is now fitted with (2) 2TB WD Blacks in RAID 0 (living on the edge!) for a combined total of 4TB (3.6TB formatted). Again in regards to storage, the measly 32GB SSD has been replaced with a 120GB one, which despite being from Kingston and not being particularly suited for this envrironment, performs more than adequately for running a few VMs and containers.

One of the WD Black drives before it was inserted into the server
One of the WD Black drives before it was inserted into the server

Software

The mention of VMs and containers previously brings me onto software; no longer am I using OpenMediaVault for everything. Instead, I use a hypervisor called Proxmox, within which I run a selection of containers, each dedicated to hosting a single app or two. This allows much finer control over resource allocation compared to the previous Docker-only solution. Additionally, having proper support for full KVM Virtual Machines means I don’t have to rely upon the janky PHPVirtualBox web interface to run applications that would otherwise not work in a container. On top of all this, I am able to create a “cluster” if I were to ever get more fancy servers.

Another example of Proxmox's usefulness: easy set up of automated backups of everything
Another example of Proxmox's usefulness: easy set up of automated backups of everything

Programs/Services

I know that programs and services are technically software in and of themselves, but there’s a bit to talk about here so I deem the seperate heading worthy.

Here’s basically everything I have running at the moment, although I often install things briefly just to play around with:

For those interested in my Grafana set-up, I will eventually get around to making a seprate blog post.
For those interested in my Grafana set-up, I will eventually get around to making a seprate blog post.

Other Devices

As well as the Proliant, I have two Raspberry Pis chugging away, performing tasks. My Pi Zero runs Pi-Hole, a DNS server that will filter out domain lists of your choosing (ads, malware, etc). I paticularly enjoy just looking at the graphs and statistics really, but the block lists are useful also.
The beefier Raspberry Pi 3B essentially just acts as web host/reverse proxy. Since I’m lazy, I use Apache to forward requests to certain domains to where they have to go within the network (service.example.com ➔ 192.0.0.5:1234, for example). The Pi also hosts a couple of mediocre Discord bots used within my friend-circle.

Other Updates

While not strictly homelab related, I should touch upon a common question others have brought up:

Why do you still use [Google Photos/Twitter/Insert Service Here] when you're all about FOSS and that?
people

What it all boils down to is convenience.
Google Photos is simply best-in-class when it comes to web interfaces to manage photos. While I disagree with the data collection and the cost I have to pay to keep original-quality photos, those are small sacrifies for the convenience and the rich featureset that Google Photos offers.
It is a similar story with Twitter. I attempted to use Mastodon for a good while; I wanted to like it. The problem was simply lack of adoption. Everyone I would want to follow (bar perhaps Bryan Lunduke) are on Twitter. Not to mention the polish that has gone into making Twitter be as soom as possible to use - something you can’t really match as a one-man-band.