Technical Blog

Hard Drives for the Homelabs

We live in a world with a penny ($0.01 USD) per GB of storage. I just found this bare drive MDD (MD20TS25672NAS) 20TB 7200 RPM 256MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5” Internal Hard Drive (for NAS, Network Storage) - 5 Years Warranty (Renewed) for $199.99 USD. I also found Avolusion PRO-X USB 3.0 External Hard Drive (Black) - 2 Year Warranty (20TB) for $229.99 USD with the USB C enclosure.

I just updated my primary Ceph Cluster with another batch of three (3) 5Tb drives to a total of twelve (12) drives as OSDs serving out storage. That has me at 60Tb of raw storage that I have configured to be a Ceph 3/2 configuration (3 replicas with 2 minimum) for a highly available 20Tb of storage accessible. I have three copies of each block of data and require a minimum of two copies to be active for usage. So I can loose one full compute node (that hosts 3+ drives) or up to three drives without a loss of service.

With the addition of that last set of drives, I jumped to needing 20Tb of external storage to meet my one (1) offsite copy of data for my modified 3-2-1 backup strategy. I remembered that jumping from sub-14Tb to above 20Tb was a big jump in price. Those big drives were a lot more expensive earlier just this year and these renewed ones seem like too good a deal especially with a 5-year warranty. I’m going to have to grab one and try it out.

What a world?

Backlog of Posts

I’ve got a backlog of posts I want to do on various topics. A couple of recent posts, I figured getting out something rough was better than not getting it out and just posted soemthing that felt like it needed another draft or two. I’ll likely review those quickly posted items and update them as time permits.

ProxMox 8.2 for the Homelabs

I am in the process of building a Proxmox 8 Cluster with Ceph in an HA (high availability) configuration using very low-end hardware and questionable options for the various hardware buses. I’m going for HA, cheapfrugal and reuse of hardware that I’ve gathered up over the years.

Over the COVID lockdown, I was running a Plex Media Server (PMS) on an older Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Desktop that I cobbled into it several Seagate USB3 portable drives that I just slapped on it as I needed more space. It hosted my extensive VHS, DVD and BluRay library as I ripped them into digital formats. To improve the experience I threw a Nvidia Quadro P400 into the mix and a PCIe USB3 card for faster access to the drives. Eventually, I had some drive issues and wanted to get some additional reliability into the mix so tried out Microsoft Windows Storage Spaces (MWSS). Windows and the associated fun I had with MWSS left me incredibly frustrated and I was trying to make an enterprise product work in a low-end workstation with a bunch of USB drives. The thing that made me fully abandon MWSS was the recovery options when you had a bad drive. MWSS probably works well with solid enterprise equipment but was misery on the stuff I cobbled together. So exit Windows OS.

For about ten (10) years, I had run an VMWare ESXi server that let me play with new technology and host some content and services. I let it go awhile back while I was in graduate school and working full-time but have missed this as an option ever since. So adding a homelab server or cluster will let me get some of that back.

Thinkpad T480 WWAN SSD

Adding another SSD Drive

In my etermal tinkering with my Lenovo Thinkpad T480s, I have continued the trend of adding new features. So earlier, in A new to me but old laptop and New Laptop update, I threw out a bunch of enhancement options. Some of those I’ve done and some I left on the backlog as things that just cost too much on my metric of usefulness per dollar. The WWAN SSD for extra storage was one of those that just seemed like a bad bang-for-the-buck for storage. I also like the option to add a SIM card and have cellular network available in case I have to go back to consulting on the road.