What is breadNET?

BreadNET is the name I have given my home lab. The name originated form my original nickname of breadbin from primary school , as well as being my instagram account. From there, branched breadNET. I had originally planned to purchase the domain of bread.net but this was taken, hence breadnet.co.uk

What qualifies me to write about this stuff?

Nothing at all, I am a Cloud engineer by Trade so that contributes something?

How did I get in to computers?

So It really started back in 2012/13 when I had moved abroad with an old XP computer and from there it branched out. I started out wanting to work at Openrach as a technician, but decided not to. I used to work on the welpdesk for an msp in Potters Bar. I had moved on and accepted a job as a Junior System administrator for a cloud based company! woo

It all really started falling in place at my school that had a BYOD policy and I got bored in class, as you do. I started to look at how the internet works, web pages, all those kind of things. Eventually I got IIS to work on my third laptop (see below) and it just took off from there. Whilst in India, I managed to get my second laptop to accept ubuntu as it's OS. From there we moved to installing apache2 and building a basic website. Since then (around 2013) I have moved back to the UK (2015) and finally had the space and the money to get better equipment.

The laptop that started it all. This is the one where I learnt HTML. (I'm hopeless now)

This is the second laptop I owned. This was the laptop I was able to get running Ubuntu 13.04 (EOL) running with apache2 as a website. Was quite cool!

My third laptop was my everyday driver. This is the laptop that I spent most time working from, running VM's and everything else you could imagine!

Finally, my Thinkpad! A trusty Lenovo T450 rocking Linux Mint!

I had (bare in mind this was back in 2017 I think) planned to purchase some servers and needed a rack for them. So naturally I built one...

The below photo is from whiteboardCAD showing the specifics of the rack design.

Now we're making progress. The server rack is starting take place. It's quite solid once the rest of the cross supports were added. This was wood left over from building my desk.

Excuse the 2003 flip phone camera quality, but this is what the finished rack looked
Photos don't do it justice how much of a fire hazard this was.

The final straw

So after running like this for around a year I decided that it needed to go. Stuff was all over the place. I really needed to upgrade. Plus my "server" was an old computer with 8gb of ram and 2 cores.

I saved up from my job, which at the time was a warehouse operative, and purchased some servers and a server rack to populate some space in the garage.

I purchased:

  • 1 Dell R210 to run the router platform
  • 2 Dell R710's with E5520 processors, 16gb of ram each, which would run my hypervisor platform (xcp-ng)
  • 1 Dell R710 with 1 E5520 to run my NAS for storage of backups and Block level storage to be presented to the VM servers (lol, never happened. electricity isn't free)


This is the 48U rack I purchased off Ebay and had delivered.

I didn't quite realize how big 48U is but yeah.

The front of the rack (yes, there's no hard drive caddies. (Were on a budget here))

Rear of the rack. Sphagetttttttiiiii junction.

Plans for the future

  1. Get more storage
  2. Faster HDD's (or ssd?)
  3. 10gig (eh, half way there as of August 2019)
  4. bring the 3rd server online (Just need more ram... anyone?)