Computer for home lab advice
Posted on 2014-02-03
I would like to buy a computer that is powerful, well rounded and reasonably future proof enough to setup a home lab on. For the purposes of running an actual test small medium business network environment. IE I would like to run the following things on it...
1. GNS3, with a bunch of Cisco based devices. A few routers and ASAs, and some sort of non ASIC switches.
2. A bunch of server and work station VMs that connect via created loop back interfaces to parts of the GNS3 topologies (if this is even possible, looks like it should be).
I have never done anything like this before, but I want to keep my skills fresh and sharp.
Some of the computers I am considering so far are the following...
1. Alienware X51 maxed out at 16 GB and i7 processor, with 256 SSD and 3 TB hard drive. But it is small form factor, so probably not very future proof.
2. The Dell XPS 8700 Special Edition, looks like it can handle much more memory but is massive and probably eats tremendous amounts of power.
3. A used version of the Lenovo ThinkCenter line looks like it can handle dual socketed Xeons and up to 24 GB RAM
4. And what do you think about the new MacPro? Its really expensive, but the least expensive model maybe reasonable, or should I stay away from Macs as setting them up with the above scenario be too difficult and pricey? It only uses 60 watts somehow!
Thanks for your feedback and ideas.