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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.


If you also select OVHCloud as your provider, vRACK support is NOT offered on their Rise or ECO ranges.

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/MonitoringInfluxDBMonitoringIngest server for event logs and live data.
Optional/MonitoringGrafanaMonitoringViewing data in nice fancy formats and sending alerts to webhooks.
N/AHomerQoLSingle pane of glass for shortcuts to services.