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Our Lab

In the process of making our project better to work on one of our first tasks was ensuring all our contributors had access to a clean workspace when they needed it. This encouraged the development of our ‘Lab’ environment that consists of the following hardware:

  • x2 E-2386G Xeon CPUs
  • 64GB DDR4 3200Mhz RAM
  • 1 TB NVMe SSD

The above hardware was chosen with one important factor in mind. VM lifespan is relatively short and while high-core count and large ram capacity servers are great, we don’t have the demand for that caliber of server.

Cloud Provider

We chose to utilise ‘OVH’ for a few reasons highlighted below, yes other hosting providers can also deliver on a few of the points listed at the time of enquiring only OVH was able to deliver all of them.

  • Hardware - Current-gen Xeon-E CPUs
  • Location - London, UK
  • Price - Cheap IPv4 addresses & summer sale hardware deal
  • Software - OVH is an official Proxmox hosting partner

Software Used

This is a brief summary of the application stack we’re utilising to make the Lab environment work for our needs, most are not required but the ones that are have been highlighted with a ✔ symbol.

Core/ProxmoxProxmoxHypervisorProxmox was the easiest solution to get up and running without the need for ESXi hosts and enhanced Windows configuration.
Core/Virtual MachinesSophos XGFirewallProduct familiarity and ease of use compared to other OSS products, support included with all licenses.
N/AWindows ServerDomain ControllerUtilises AD w/ AAD Sync and provides DHCP and DNS for the network.
Optional/DockerDockerContainerisationContainers are much lighter than running full blown VMs for every application.
Optional/DockerPortainerManagementManagement interface for Docker containers utilising M365 Auth.
N/ANginx Proxy ManagerReverse ProxyNPM is a docker file ready to go purpose built for our needs.
Optional/MonitoringUptime KumaMonitoringMontior our environment and sends Discord webhooks when down.
N/AHomerQoLSingle pane of glass for shortcuts to services.