My HomeLab journey

25th May 2024
dr planning
Last updated:26th June 2024
3 Minutes
420 Words

The homelab journey started like this

Last year I bought a Mac Studio to replace my six year old desktop. Originally the desktop started off with Windows 10, but before I switched back to Mac I was running Ubuntu workstation on it. So instead of getting rid of it, I decided I wanted a homelab to practice with SQL and learn DevOps. Ultimately the plan of this homelab was, and still is, to give me a playground to start tinkering around with development.

I started off playing around with Proxmox and then scraped it to run TrueNas Scale. However, at the time I found TrueNase Scale wasn’t the best fit for my goals, so I reloaded Proxmox. In this first iteration of the lab, I had started running the following apps:

  • Pihole
  • Home Assistant
  • Puppet
  • Postgres
  • SQL Server
  • Wazuh
  • And an attempt at Prometheus

That’s a lot. Then I got into Terraform and wanted to automate all of it, which led me down the IaC rabbit hole.

Round two


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eye_roll.gif Last summer, work was shutting down a datacenter. Being curious, I asked what the plans were with the equipment and was told they were to be recycled. I mentioned what I was doing and one of the infrastructure guys who lives “close” to me brought me three servers. This is where my wife’s eye rolls started…in fact, it looked a lot like >>>.

Anyway, I took my spoils home and set one of the servers up in my office to play with. It soon had Proxmox on it, it was clustered with the desktop, and I was moving VMs around. All was good, for like three days.

After spending time tinkering with Puppet and Ansible, I thought to myself -

“Lets just rebuild all of this with IaC tooling and put everything into source control. Once that’s done, I can CI/CD the whole thing…”

~ My inner monologue

My inner monologue, the idiot


I happily followed the voice of my inner monologue and I decided to wipe it all, start over, and quickly rebuild it all using IaC, CI/CD, and source control. For some reason, I thought I could do this in a couple of weeks. If you’re laughing, I understand…I deserve it. A couple of weeks turned into a couple of months of scattered approaches before I finally walked away.

So we are now on homelab v2. Which, I am happy to work on but I need to find some patience because, v2 is kind of starting to go sideways. I’ll post more about that later.

Article title:My HomeLab journey
Article author:sqlmac
Release time:25th May 2024