Home Lab Inspiration – A Letter from a Reader

Over the years, millions of people have created blogs to write and share the things they are passionate about. This is one of the main reasons why I started this blog many years ago which consists of sharing home lab inspiration.

So today, what I’m going to share is part of the joy when you publish a blog post, only to find out later that it inspires someone else, who then inspires. Over time, this creates a more complete and valuable chain of inspiration that was initially shared.

A letter (email) received from a reader.

In March 2021, I received an email from a reader in response to my blog post “Home Lab Beginner’s Guide – Hardware” that read:

Hi Hayden,

Love your home lab post – it inspired me to build a better lab. I’m running ESXi on a Dell R610, using my Synology DS1618+ as the back end, but I’ve never had any networking equipment, and one of my main goals is to increase my networking skills. After seeing your post, I bought a CCNA lab kit from a local Craigslist, and I’ve set it up in a storage room. I also moved all my production equipment to the same area.

Your setup prompts me to swap out the cheap 2-post 12U rack of this CCNA kit for a nice wall-mount like yours and do better with the whole thing like adding a monitor. I will be there in the next few months.

Please keep updating for that post – they’re great, and they give me ideas!

I responded by promising to post updates on my home lab, to which I posted five updates between March and August 2021.

Home Lab Inspiration: A reader’s rack setup.

Today, I wanted to share his most recent email – received on 5 February 2022 – with a picture of him Home Lab Project,

Hi Hayden,

You may remember that you and I corresponded a while back about your home lab rack, which gave me some great ideas about what I could do. My sons and I cleaned the wiring on the back and bottom of the rack today, and its current condition is this; I thought you might appreciate it.

Also, the last time we corresponded, I had a Dell R610 as my server; Now I have Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Tiny, see below in U3.

SO WHAT have we here:
– U1: PDU
– U2: Empty (so I can reach the hinge release catch)
– U3-U4: 2U shelf on which my ThinkCenter M900 sits, Raspberry Pi 4B
– U5-10: Cisco Lab, which includes: Cisco 3750G, Cisco 2960 x2, Cisco 2611 x2, Cisco 2610
– U11: Ubiquiti USW-Lite-16-PoE and USG
– U12: Patch Panel

On the shelf below are my Synology DS220+, Grandstream DP750, Linksys PAP2 and APC UPS.

The Acer monitor on top is connected to my Raspberry Pi, but I don’t do much with it yet. The M900 is an i7 with 32GB of RAM and runs ESXi.

The orange unit on the right is the PoE thermometer.

Thank you for the inspiration.

If you want to see some posts about the progress made with Rack, you can see them in various posts unixdude.net, I’ll post about this, hopefully, tomorrow.



Home Lab Inspiration

Image attached to Daniel’s email. ,see more here,

read it full blog post here,

Continue the motivation chain: “Do things, tell people”.

It is important for all of us to find our passion and, for many, when it comes to building a home lab, that represents hundreds of satisfying hours of learning and making. What will you use your home lab for? How will it benefit you and others? This, to me, comes back to everything I read a while back that stuck with me: talk, tell people,

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