I have a stack of old laptops sitting here from work (I occasionally get the old ones back when they are retired). It occurred to me that laptops would make a very good “home server stack” environment. Here is my reasoning…

  • They are running mobile processors so the power drain and heat generation should be low enough that I can play with this in my office and not run up my electric bill too much.
  • They have battery backup built-in to each unit! 🙂 At least 15 minutes worth (some of these batteries are pretty much dead…)
  • The processors are, I believe, at least Centrino 2 era… Ancient by today’s standards but good enough to throw on at least a couple of hosts for playing around with hyper-v
  • They each have a screen and a keyboard for initial interfacing which cuts down on the wires needed.
  • They sit on top of each other in a big tower quite nicely without the need for a jury-rigged rack.

The problems with my setup…

  • They are old… I am not going to be able to run very many hosts on them… it is questionable whether or not Hyper-V will run on this procssor
  • I need another switch for my network… I might be able to get an old Dell 24 port… hmm…
  • It is probably going to annoy my wife…
  • I want to cluster my Hyper-V hosts… that means I need shared storage which isn’t usually cheap… I have an idea though that involves building my own SAN in Linux and will probably go that route. I think I have an old workstation that can be used for that…

I will be blogging this journey and welcome you to come along. Hopefully nothing catches on fire…

Questions, comments, encouragement, ideas, and snide remarks welcome!

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