Weekly Journal 78 - Home Lab

Just like that, we are already halfway through 2022. The past six months have been a been a blur of activity. Now it’s time to take a step back, see where I am for the year, and make a plan for where I want to be at the end of the year.

One of the things I would like to do more of is build a home lab. I have been watching some YouTube channels, specifically Techno Time and Jeff Geerling, that discuss building a home lab. While I think it would be fun to build out my own rack of equipment, I think it would be less fun to have to maintain it. All that equipment requires patching and maintenance, not to mention the additional costs in power and cooling to keep things running optimally.

Instead, I prefer to leverage the cloud when I want to learn something new. For me, this works best when I want to learn something new. In this, case, once I’m done with my experiment I will terminate all the cloud infrastructure I was using. I can spend a whole Saturday afternoon working on a project at a cost of $10-$20. It would take me a lot of Saturday afternoons to get the same value if I purchased my own hardware.

With that said, I am interested in maybe building out a few small systems in my home for some applications I would like to self host. For those few applications, I should be able to get by with a few Raspberry Pi systems and a small disk array. The hardest part of this plan is finding any Raspberry Pi systems on sale at normal retail prices. That is proving to be a challenge right now.

So that is how I approach a home lab. I have instant access to resources I need for experiments, and I’m not spending money on it when I’m not using it. This is perfect for my usage patterns, and I would recommend at least looking into it for your own projects.