My personal playground, which I've been building for the past few years. This is where I spend most of my time, it's a really great opportunity!
I take a lot of pride in my home lab, which has been my primary learning place network and system-wise. I am mostly running Dell hardware, such as R610's, R410's, and an older PowerEdge 2850. I'm a very hands-on learner; I learn best in an environment where I'm able to physically interact with the task at hand. Having this hardware on hand has allowed me to become comfortable working with other, more important, systems. Not all of my hardware is being used by myself. I rent out a few VM's and dedicated servers to select clients who've approached me.
I run a Proxmox cluster containing three nodes (worker servers), which all rely on shared storage to my SAN. Over this past year, I've been working towards doing a full 10g network upgrade, which should speed up the 1.6TB nightly backups.
Christmas Upgrades (2020)
This past Christmas, I was able to purchase everything I needed to complete my 10g network upgrade! I ended up purchasing the US-16-XG (a Unifi switch) with 16 SFP+ 10g ports, for about $550 USD. I would normally go with a Juniper switch in this situation, but it wasn't appropriate. This 10g switch will connect every single one of my servers, (with a 20gbps link agregation to my NAS), and will speed up the storage network. Hopefully, making VM backups faster. I've added some photos of the unit in the gallery.
Fall Upgrades (2021)
In the past, I was securing different networks of mine through a PaloAlto PA500 firewall. This device worked well for quite some time and eventually lost stability in 2021. This device was very much in need of replacement. I ended up buying a PA3020 for close to $200 USD via Ebay, and am now using its SFP ports to filter critical networks. With this newer version, I have new features and capabilities that be prior didn't offer. Overall, PaloAlto firewalls are a great next-generation solution to physical firewalling.