Building Private Cloud – Part I

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In this blog post series I’ll show you how to build a Private Cloud for a real company. I’m going to use my xenappblog LLC as an example building a training environment for my Automation Master Class.

Back in 2016 – 2018 I was traveling the world teaching my Automation Master Class with my Portable Data Center For Carry On. I stopped doing the course due to issues with Citrix Hypervisor and limited CPU & Memory resources. Fast forward to today and everybody is doing Virtual Classes due to COVID.

Since my students needs direct access to the hypervisor, Azure was not an option, and if it was it would have broken my bank! The reason why people are hosting their websites with hosting providers is because its so cheap and the management tools are awesome. Unfortunately that’s not the case for the public Cloud IMHO.

I’ve been looking into private hosted servers and it works really well running VMware ESXi. My problem is that it cost $97 per month + $104 in setup fees for a Xeon E-2176G Hexa-Core with 64 GB DDR4 ECC and 2 x 960 GB NVMe.

So a Master Class with 5 students per Class running 4 times a year would cost me $4020 which is crazy. Why does people think that Cloud is cheaper?

So I started looking into refurbished servers and colocation. Recently I landed a new automation contract with Twin Networks where the owner Chris had me recommended by Phillip Jones which I’ve met a couple of times at the E2EVC conference.

We agreed to exchange code for hosting so I won’t have any fixed monthly hosting costs. Chris highly recommended UnixSurplus which buy servers, storage and networking equipment that used to run in Amazon Datacenters. After getting in contact with them I purchased 5 of these servers:

The order is on its way, so stay tuned for the next post where the systems will be racked and ESXi will be installed on the Servers hosted in New York through IPMI from Brasil.

Big thanks to Twin Network and Nick that offered to host the servers for free.

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