DeVember Project help me plan my home lab?

Devember 2020

I just purchased a 2u server for $200 it was a lot of bang for buck in my opinion so I just bought it without thinking too much about it. so now I’m making this post to brain storm how I’m going to put it to use.

Dell Power Edge R710

  • 2x Xeon [email protected]
  • 144GB DDR3 RAM
  • PERC H700 Integrated RAID Controller
  • 6x 3.5" HDD caddys (ill either add 4x 4TB HDD or 6x 2TB drives) (Also have lots of 240gb SSD laying around I might use)

My idea was to make a virtualization server
and put Free-nas or True-nas into a VM as well as various other VM’s.

Question 1. I own 5x Vega 56 GPUs is there a way I can put these into the server to use with the server?

Q2 I’ve seen L1T use Pfsence on old pc’s could I Virtualize it then have it route the rest of my VMs as well as the rest of my house?

Q3 I’ve heard that using a virtualized version of Freenas is risky is that still the case with modern versions of Freenas? if this is the case I could just use Freenas as the hypervisor like I do with my current home server.

  • If I used Freenas as the hypervisor could I still use the child VM pfsence to route everything?

Q4 Other VM’s I would like to build include but are not limited too.

  • Windows server (for a halo 2 game server)
  • Various cryptocurrency nodes (Mainly Monero)
  • Plex media server (would I need a GPU for this?)
  • Minecraft server
  • LAMP Stack for a web store
  • LAMP Stack for My old social media / forum project
  • Torrent Server
  • Sandstorm (if that’s still a thing)
  • Debian/Kali VM with GUI
  • Win10 VM with GUI
  • Steam library (playable / Not cold storage)

After all this I should have 80-100 GB of Ram still unused so ill be liberally allocating it. actually because of all the head room I may consider renting space on the server. and purchasing Business internet if I can turn a profit or even break even.

Currently I’m using a i5-2400S w/8gb ram and 2TB mirrored running Freenas and using Freenas containers to virtualize

  • Various cryptocurrency nodes (Mainly Monero)
  • Plex media server (would I need a GPU for this?)
  • Minecraft server
  • LAMP Stack for a web store
  • LAMP Stack for My old social media / forum project
  • Torrent Server
  • Network storage

Other Hardware

  • i5-2400S w/8gb ram and 2TB [Box]
  • Netgear 8 port switch
  • Tplink router
  • Arris Cable modem (100mbps/10mps)
  1. Should I buy a dedicated firewall?
  2. Should I buy a bigger switch?
  3. Dose anyone know of a cheap server rack that fits a PowerEdge 710 (their huge!)
  4. is there any hardware I’m just blatantly forgetting ???

I only partially know what I’m doing. I have no schooling in IT so I’m not sure if a lot of this is going to go as planed bc nothing ever does. Anyway Thanks for reading about my DeVember Project and thanks for answers you guys can give me!

I might be misremembering, but I think you need to add an expansion board in the r710 to add a x16 PCIe slot. And I think it only supports single slot cards in that x16 slot. And I don’t know if the PSU that is in there could handle that power hungry of a GPU. So it’s research time for your perticular configuration.


Personally, I wouldn’t, but it is definitely possible. I prefer to have my router as it’s own box for a couple of reasons.

It’s as risky (or not) as it’s ever been; it depends on how you set it up. It is fine if you pass through a disk controller or the disks themselves so ZFS has full access to the actual disks. It is not a good idea if you are trying to use disk images for the Freenas data disks. I mean, disk images with Freenas in a VM is fine for testing, but not for long term data storage.

May be fun to play around with, take a close look at your electricity costs for actual running. Also, this may hog resources from the other VMs.

No need for a GPU if you are direct playing. A gpu would be nice if you are transcoding through.

So access over the network? Or playing on the server itself?

Devember is about coding specifically.

So is there some coding you are planning on doing for this home lab?

If not, this thread is still welcome, it just doesn’t quite fit the requirements for devember.

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Thank you for all the info you provided!

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would it be beneficial to use my tplink wifi router vs using the VM?

I think I’m just going to use freenas on bare metal and us it to virtualize everything else.

just access over the network, instead of holding 20TB of games on my 3 desktops i can share the library over ethernet.

I’m good at calculating power costs. I don’t have to worry about that. good advice for most ppl tho

It came with 2x 2port intel 10gb (40gb total ) fiber pci expansion cards. Not sure I can use them for anything??? if I cant I can sell them and make my money back on the server. weird they left them in there


Pfsense has way more features than a consumer tplink. But running it in a VM means that every time you need to reboot the VM host then internet goes down for everything. Not as much of a problem if you are the only one using your internet connection, could be a big problem if you have other people using the internet connection commonly (ie someone working from home).

Also, make sure you have a plan to get back up and running if your VM host goes down. Like rm -rf / or a hardware failure, or wiping your VM config some how.

I don’t think having a steam library (or any other game library) over SMB would work very well, if at all. There are people that have successfully used iSCSI, although that only allows one user to access the data at a time.

Now THAT is a big game library.


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