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.
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
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/Proxmox||Proxmox||Hypervisor||Proxmox was the easiest solution to get up and running without the need for ESXi hosts and enhanced Windows configuration.|
|✔||Core/Virtual Machines||Sophos XG||Firewall||Product familiarity and ease of use compared to other OSS products, support included with all licenses.|
|❌||N/A||Windows Server||Domain Controller||Utilises AD w/ AAD Sync and provides DHCP and DNS for the network.|
|✔||Optional/Docker||Docker||Containerisation||Containers are much lighter than running full blown VMs for every application.|
|✔||Optional/Docker||Portainer||Management||Management interface for Docker containers utilising M365 Auth.|
|❌||N/A||Nginx Proxy Manager||Reverse Proxy||NPM is a docker file ready to go purpose built for our needs.|
|✔||Optional/Monitoring||Uptime Kuma||Monitoring||Montior our environment and sends Discord webhooks when down.|
|❌||N/A||Homer||QoL||Single pane of glass for shortcuts to services.|