Where should you house your home networking lab? The answer used to be…home (duh). Probably in the basement in a cheap rack or in a stack on a folding table. You had real hardware you scrounged from wherever, and you paid the electric bill.

That morphed into GNS3 and later EVE-NG or CML, or more modern variants like ContainerLab. But you still ran that virtualized lab at home…on your laptop for smaller labs, or on an eBay server with a lot of cores and RAM for bigger labs.

My home lab is pretty much this model. I have a rack in the basement with an old server running ESXi. 16 cores and 128GB of RAM. Plus I have a mish-mash of old network hardware–routers and switches just in case I need to do hardware dependent stuff.

So why not cloud? The answer for me has been a mix of “I’m scared it will cost me more than I planned on spending” and “hardware in a rack makes me happy”. Oh…and general laziness. If I have a solution that works, finding a motivation lever long enough to disrupt my inertia is hard.

Our guest today is Tom Costello. Tom hosts his home lab in a cloud. And we’re going to talk about it, because he’s gone in deep on cloud-hosted networking labs with lots of automation to make it all go.

We discuss:

* Why you might want a home lab in the first place

* Why EVE-NG and not CML

* Why Tom chose Google’s cloud for his personal lab

* Getting comfortable with scripting and automation tools

* Automating spin-up and tear-down to control costs

* Options and resources for people new to cloud-based labs

* More

Sponsor: InterOptic

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Show Links:

@kd9cpb – Tom Costello on Twitter

kd9cpb.com – Tom’s blog

Automating startup/shutdown of a GCP eve-ng homelab with VPN tunnel – kdpcpb

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