irom's Blog

My Home Lab – Brix and Shuttle mini-PCs

Posted on: February 8, 2016

I’m using mini-PC Brix from Gigabyte in my home lab since middle of 2014. It’s size of palm hand. I’m using it with SSD 250GB disk and 16GB memory. I started with vSphere 5.1 installed but recently reinstalled to Ubuntu 14.04. I found out that VMware is more ‘resources demanding’, specially new versions 5.5 and 6. I also experienced  difficulty to obtain all evals I wanted to play with. Not to mention that it was almost impossible to use my USB 1TB disk other than assigned to on of the VMs.


On Ubuntu I am using KVM and VirtualBox for virtualization and can do pretty much the same as I did on vSphere. Plus  connecting and sharing external USB disk is very straightforward. The only disadvantage is that I do everything with command line. Recently I learned that I can do even better with free Proxmox VE. It’s based on KVM and gives very intuitive web gui.

Last year I purchased Shuttle SH67H3 chassis with motherboard and attempted to finish this project last month after buying processor, disk and memory. I was hoping for system with 32G, bigger disk and multiple NICs. Unfortunately gave up after few failed attempts, not progressing beyond point where I can hear fan working for a few seconds, no traces of boot on the screen. Probably broken or not compatible CPU or memory. No time to continue, probably I will stick with cloud resources, paying monthly for the account on DigitalOcean or Ravello


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