Icon KYAU Labs

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Icon KYAU Labs History

KYAU Labs circa 2004

I have been running a lab since... well since as long as I can remember. It is honestly hard to think of a time now when I haven't been running one, in some form or another.

The "homelab" is merely a modern term for something that, upon reflection, has always been in my life. Everything that I know about computers and technology in general can be attributed to my lab. From learning how to code, to learning Linux & BSD, to dabbling in networking, none of this would have been possible without my lab.

Whether my lab was running off of multiple regular PCs, off of a dedicated server and/or vps, or more recently on second-hand enterprise hardware.

While some might already know that I have documented some of this over the years, originally in the form of whitepapers (back in my FreeBSD days) and more recently here on my Wiki. Back in 2018, with the purchase of a Dell R610, I started once more to rebuild my lab and wanted to document all of this.

Icon Enterprise Hardware

KYAU Labs circa 2019, the enterprise era

With the introduction of the Zen 2 / Zen 3 architecture, while still a decent route to take, building a lab with second-hand enterprise hardware is becoming less and less cost-effective. Meaning that performance per dollar can be more easily attained by going the AMD route.

Granted this depends heavily on the situation and how the hardware is obtained. If power is cheap in your area or if you work in an IT-related field and can get free or near-free hardware then it might not matter either way.

Icon Server Upgrade

I recently ordered a bunch of parts to convert my R620 into a custom whitebox server. My rackmount cabinet sits next to my main pc and I honestly just can't handle the noise anymore. I previously had silenced all of the networking equipment in the rack (including the Dell PowerConnect 6224) by replacing all of the fans with aftermarket ones.

NEUTRON is Born!

Once upon a colocation I had a server named NEUTRON, said server was the most powerful computer I had ever worked with at that point in my life. Given that it was such a huge beast I had named it NEUTRON after the neutron star, the most dense material known to man. Such a name I once again find fitting.

NEUTRON Hardware

NEUTRON, front view
NEUTRON, top view

I have cobbled together all of the important parts out of the R620 and either purchased new or like-new used parts to fill in the gaps. The results of this build have been most impressive, with the dual CPUs idling at roughly ~23°C. That said, here is the final list of parts that went into the build.


After getting the new machine put together I did some testing with ESXi, but once again settled on using Arch Linux + KVM for the host OS. Given the new hardware I wanted to do some extensive testing and some of that would have been a bit hard running just a hypervisor.

KYAU Labs circa 2020, current

Finally here are some pictures of the new machine.

And of course after getting the new server setup, I removed the R610 and R620 along with a 2U blank spacer from my rackmount cabinet and added in the new 4U. Hilariously enough, the loudest thing in my room now is the fan on my ODROID XU4.

Pages in category "Icon KYAU Labs"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.