Gear For Your Home Lab

Below is the complete bill of materials for your starter lab.

Base Network Gear

I’ve included Amazon.com links to the gear that I have.

Select your Lab Type

  • KVM Based Lab

    Your Intel Nuc servers will be configured with Qemu/KVM. The OpenShift cluster nodes will be deployed as virtual machines

  • Single Node Lab

    You will use one Intel NUC to deploy a Single Node OpenShift instance. The gear for this lab is identical to the KVM based lab.

    Note: You only need one Intel NUC.

  • Bare Metal Lab

    You will need at least 3 Intel NUC servers. The OpenShift cluster will be deployed on bare metal servers. Each NUC will be an independent OpenShift node.

    Note: The initial cluster will be deployed with combination control-plane/compute nodes. If you want to separate the control-plane from compute nodes, you will need additional NUCs.

Note: You can combine KVM and Bare Metal configurations. For example, you can deploy your control-plane on a single NUC with KVM, and then add bare metal compute nodes.

Basic KVM or Single Node

  • Intel NUC10i7FNK configured with 64GB RAM, (2 X 32GB) & 1TB NVMe

    Other NUC models will work as well. The key is to have at least 4 cores. The slim models are much more portable, so I tend to prefer those. I love the NUC10i7FNK because it has 6 cores. That’s 12 vCPUs for your lab!!! Prices fluctuate so much on the NUCs, M2 NVMe, and RAM that I am not listing any links here. But I get most of my compute gear from B&H Photo Video, or Amazon.com. Note: I am not an affiliate with either outlet, so no kickbacks here.

    If you want to deploy a lab with separate control-plane and compute nodes, then you will need at least 2 NUCs.

Here is a picture of the complete set up

Home Lab Starter

Bare Metal

Let’s ditch the hypervisor and put our lab right on the metal!

This project is not for the faint of heart. It will require some investment. You are going to need at least 3 Intel NUC machines with a minimum of 2 cores and 32GB RAM each.

With the following list of parts, you will be able to power your cluster off of two power supplies, and pack the whole thing up in a slim 15” laptop bag.

It will look like this:

Bare Metal Lab

Bare Metal Lab

Bare Metal Lab

  • Network adapter for your workstation
    • Note: You will not be able to use the WiFi in your MacBook for the bootstrap network bridge. We’ll need a physical adapter.
  • Gigabit Network Switch
  • 3 X Intel NUC10i3FNK configured with 32 or 64GB RAM & 1TB NVMe

    Other NUC models will work as well. The slim models are much more portable, so I tend to prefer those. I really love the NUC10i7FNK because it has 6 cores. That’s 12 vCPUs for your nodes!!! Prices fluctuate so much on the NUCs, M2 NVMe, and RAM that I am not listing any links here. But I get most of my compute gear from B&H Photo Video, or Amazon.com.

Optional Gear