hey folks who do homelab kinda stuff:

I am looking to build a small homelab to practice/implement various networking related things

what sort of cheap hardware are people using for this? ARM boards?

key word here is small, I don't have a lot of physical space at home so full U servers are out of the picture


Intel NUC kits don't come with RAM or storage included so its $1k for the NUC kit itself and then the 2x16GB DDR4 SODIMMs and then the storage

probably looking at like $1500-$2000 CAD of spend, depending on how I want the storage, this thing has 2x SATA ports so like 2x 512GB SSDs?

@staticsafe What's your budget? :) But @bradfa and @georgem were talking about SSDs the other day and may have some useful things to chime in about.

@trini @staticsafe @bradfa kinda depends on your requirements but WD Blue and Samsung 860 EVO drives are on sale now on newegg.ca either of these should be fine unless you insist on 2-bit MLC. Based on reviews these seem to have a lower DOA/failure rate than other options. Either of these should saturate SATA. Cheaper drives are available and many perform as well but reports of failure seem to be unexplainably high for a solid state device of this nature. Weigh risk:$.


@georgem @trini @staticsafe I'd strongly recommend you avoid Crucial MX500 SSD. There are known (firmware?) problems regarding unreadable sectors popping up via SMART and the two MX500 1TB drives I have both have serious issues.
I'd stick with older generation parts, either entire older SSDs or at least older controllers, which are more proven and less likely to have issues.
My SanDisk Extreme Pro has been rock solid for 3 years but they're hard to find now new.

@bradfa @georgem @trini @staticsafe *sigh* I picked up a Crucial MX500 when my best friend (tech director at an MSP) warned me off the new Samsungs for similar reasons. Apparently all the companies are going stupid cheap nowadays.

@bradfa @trini @staticsafe MX500 appears to use Silicon Motion SM2258 from 2016. I wonder if you were running the newest firmware.

@georgem @trini @staticsafe I have one drive with the newest firmware, version M3CR023, and one drive with version M3CR022. Both have major issues and report sporadic unreadable sectors via SMART.
The M3CR022 firmware has read/write errors, mainly for ecryptfs files. This disk would also enter a weird mode and prevent Linux shutting down. The M3CR023 firmware has huge 2+ minute long pauses during heavy write activity.
Both were used as the 2nd disk in a software RAID 1 with my SanDisk Extreme.

@georgem @trini @staticsafe I have gotten an RMA number from Crucial support for both drives, but an RMA only entitles me to a replacement MX500, which I expect will have similar problems so I've not executed the RMA.
Returning to the vendor isn't going to go well, both drives will pass SMART tests and can be read/written to so will likely pass any quick tests.

@georgem @trini @staticsafe I believe the problem is drive firmware related. The ecryptfs issues are likely that the data is not compressible at a granularity smaller than the minimum write size internal to the drive, or something similar.
The big write stalls are likely garbage collection related bugs locking up the controller.

Crucial are shutting down their forums where a *LOT* of people complain about MX500 issues which aren't total drive failures.

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