HL15 Small Business (And Gaming PC) In a Box

Here is the current state of my HL15 build that I’m using to run my small engineering firm, gaming PC and hobby projects.

Hardware Specs
Xeon Gold 6142 16 core 32 thread 3.6GHz
112 GB 2133 DDR4 ECC RAM
AMD 6650 XT GPU Passthrough to gaming VM that replaced gaming PC
nVidia GT 1030 GPU Passthrough to engineering/work VM for video output and running GIS acceleration replacing workstation
5x 8TB HDDs in RaidZ1 for simulations, documents, media
5x 2TB SSDs in RaidZ1 for VMs and apps.
1x 1TB NVMe SSD for TrueNAS boot drive

Software Specs
TrueNAS Scale Cobia on bare metal
Windows 11 Pro Workstation VMs for employees
Poste email server incubator app in Kubernetes
Nextcloud groupware in Kubernetes for team files, email, calendar, contacts, docs, chat, notes, tasks
Leantime and MariaDB for time card and project management
Guacamole for SSH access to server and RDP to VMs
Zabbix for monitoring SNMP of VMs and office printer
Rtlsdr rtl433 and rtlamr for logging of weather station, smart meter, tire pressure, security system, among other radio frequency devices.
Grafana Prometheus and InfluxDB docker for visualization of weather data, nest thermostat telemetry, smart meter data logging, log visualization, Zabbix server/ vm dashboard, etc.
Plex for music, movie, audiobook and TV collection from our DVD and CD collection that now collects dust in the shed and downloads from Audible and Google Play Books
Photoprism for photos and family videos
CalibreWeb for the family eBook collection from Amazon and Google Play Books
EmulatorJS for streaming retro game collection
HomeAssistant for controlling smart home devices
Several self hosted websites for personal and business use
Traefik for reverse proxy and a few useful middle wares like basic auth.
Trinity WoW WotLK server on Windows
Parsec cloud gaming on Windows VM for Steam Deck style gaming from phone while the kids hog the TV.
A few other minor services.

Backup Strategy
ZFS replication to 2 other TrueNAS servers located off site at family members homes.
CloudSync of just mission critical files to 2TB Google Drive with encrypted file name and contents. Still costs an arm and a leg!

Build Story
I started out with a full-build unit preorder back in October. It came in just before Christmas

At my first boot I was shocked at the noise (the server runs in my home office next to where I work) and went out to the local Best Buy to swap out the fans. I wrote about that in Hardware and they’ve been working and looking great!

My first unit got in with a dented corner and the team at 45HomeLab decided to replace the whole setup. That was fun because I had to put everything back the way it came and start again fresh!

Because of my engineering simulation use case I needed more RAM and CPU power so I added 6 sticks of 16GB DDR4 ECC RAM and a recently retired and EOL Xeon Gold 6142 from eBay. This brought things up to 112GB of RAM and 32 faster clocked threads. It now performs similarly to a first generation Threadripper 1950X workstation.

The cooler was insufficient for the new CPU right now a fan balanced on top suffices but I have a Noctua NH-D9 4U LGA 3647 cooler on order coming from China on Newegg that will fix this.

Between the fans, memory, cooler and CPU I put in an extra $400 of parts. The GPUs came out of the old workstation and gaming PC. I’ve been able to consolidate a whole room of computers into this single box and it’s pretty great!