Homelab Pi Rack upgrade, just in time for AnsibleFest 2022

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2022-09-23 18:00:28

AnsibleFest is fast approaching, and this year it'll finally be back in person, in Chicago. Since that's a short jaunt from St. Louis, I'll be headed up to talk about my Homelab this year!

More specifically, I'll be giving a talk titled Ansible for the Homelab, and I'll walk through how I have at least part of my sprawling homelab environment automated using Ansible.

I'll be posting a version of the AnsibleFest talk to my YouTube channel, but leading up to it, the folks at UCTRONICS sent me their Pi Rack Pro to test out. I've been running four Raspberry Pi 4 model B computers in my rack for the past year, each one assuming a certain amount of responsibility for my homelab:

These four Pis have gone through a number of mounting solutions, from sitting atop a network switch, to my first 3D printed 1U Pi rackmount, to a MyElectronics hot-swap rack. This new setup incorporates many nice-to-haves, like captive thumbscrews for front-loading the Pis, a full metal enclosure, a built-in display and power button, a front panel push-push microSD slot, and an integrated SATA SSD sled, fitting four fully-outfitted Pis in 1U of rackspace.

It's not perfect (ventilation is my biggest gripe, as I mention in the video), and I'm currently customizing the LCD display panel more to my liking, but if you're kind of insane like I am about Pis in racks, this is the best 1U solution available at any price.

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