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Homelab construction

I just recently got a good deal with 2 DL360e G8 (both dual e5 2440 and 32GB) and 1 hp StoreVirtual 4530 G8 (single cpu need to check on this later, but came with 12x 450gb SAS drives and 16GB). I’m currently checking out the second DL360e and testing it to make sure it’s all working well.

I’m looking at playing with Proxmox, as it earlier I was playing with it and XCP-NG and it seemed easier to play along. But I’m not sure how I should go about it.
Currently I have a custom built R7 2700 with 32GB with unRAID and an old SFF HP running PFSense. I plan on keeping these 2 as is, as they have my Plex server and all my home things there.

I’m thinking of keeping the 2 DL360e for playing and learning, and the StoreVirtual for storage with those drives, But I’m not sure if it would be better to have Proxmox in it and do the storage from there or just install Freenas? Or what would you recommend?

Keeping in mind I started this bug not long ago with unRAID and slowly moving up now playing with PFSense. but wanted to play with enterprise gear, learn more. I’m slowly moving into Linux with Pop OS (main computer is a Chromebook for school, but then Pop for when I’m doing most things at home or Windows VMs on my unRAID) but I still have to learn more command line.

But I’m not sure if it would be better to have Proxmox in it and do the storage from there or just install Freenas?

If you only need storage, FreeNAS. It does what you want and not a lot more. If you’ll be running virtual machines (almost certainly, if you’re running Plex), go Proxmox.

Since this is a homelab and you’ve expressed desire to learn more about the command line, I’d recommend just setting up your own ZFS pools by hand to get the experience. Once you’ve gotten the experience creating, snapshotting, and sending ZFS filesystems, wipe it and use an appliance if you still feel the need.

The experience will be helpful for both FreeNAS and Proxmox, and will be critical when you run into a problem with either down the road. And you will, because it’s a homelab, and breaking things to see what happens is part fo the fun. :stuck_out_tongue:

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While the StoreVirtual 4730* is mostly planned to be storage, if I can use for more, why not. I need to look up how to do the ZFS by command line, I feel that I’m getting myself many hours on YouTube and guides.

I did check and it’s a Xeon E5-2640 on the StoreVirtual. So it should be able to handle a bit more than just storage.
I might get myself another identical unit(seller contacted me about it). any recomendation about it? I would like to learn more about SAN but that’s not in the priorities. But would be nice to have data cloning between 2 machines.
And while the data in the homelab wouldn’t be critical in any way, I would like to learn how to use snapshots for to back up.