My homelab: current build, uses, and future plans

While I haven't been able to get my hands on any enterprise networking equipment (that stuff is expensive, and our car is broken down right now...), I have managed to put together a virtual homelab running on my tower server I'm pretty happy with.

My Current Build

Here is the current build I've put together over the past 6 years.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Chipset: Intel B85 Chipset

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4790K CPU @ 4.00GHz

RAM:  Corasair VENGEANCE® Pro Series — 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 DRAM 1600MHz C9 Memory 



OS Storage: Suneast SSD Se800 256 GB 2.5 in SSD

Video Editing Storage: King Spec 1TB 2.5 in SSD

Video Archiving Storage: 2 x 8TB Seagate Baracuda ST8000DM004-2CX188 HDDs  in Raid 1

I originally built my computer with my final build in mind for trying out VR Games and for editing the footage I recorded in Japan, so I guess you could call this a Gaming/Video Editing workstation build.

Currently I'm mainly using this workstation for setting up and configuring a variety of VMs including Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and Windows Server 2016 to ready myself for the CompTIA A+ exam. 

As a short break, I've decided to take some time off and play with creating and deleting network shares from the command line and RDP between the other computers around the house running Windows 10 Pro and the server. I found out, much to my surprise, I can actually RDP from my non-host computer into the VMs located inside the host. I also found I can RDP into my Tower Server from the WAN after I set up port forwarding on my router.  This is really neat, as my sister doesn't have easy access to her old laptop now that her physical disability has gotten worse, but she can RDP into a VM I  have set up on my tower server from her iphone using an RDP client. 
I have found that the increased demands on the Tower Server have slowed it down, so I have since relocated it down to the first floor and connected it directly to the router using a Gigabit ethernet connection. The lag has basically disappeared and now I just RDP into it's various VMs using my Thinkpad I have here with me on the 2nd floor. I did encounter problems with my mom turning off the computers to save power at night and being unable to RDP into it in the mornings and having to go down to the first floor to manually turn it on. Luckily, the motherboard supports WoL. I was lost at first because I seemingly could get my computer to turn on from complete shutdown using the wakemeonlan app I found online, but it turns out the computer was simply turning on for updates at the middle of the night (that's what I get for staying up so late and torubleshooting...). It turns out that WakeonLan stopped working for Shutdown states even with Fast Startup dsiabled in Windows 10, so I've now been turning on my Tower Server from standby instead and have had no issues. The implications for my sister's PC accessibility are also enormous. I currently have her setup with an iPhone on a stand by her hospital bed that she uses an RDP client and a WoL client. Before she would have to ask us to turn on the projector behind her to show her PC's image on the wall in front of her and then hand her the wireless keyboard, when she wanted to get work done. Now she can simply RDP into her Windows 10 VM I have installed in the Tower Server, and in the case that it's off she can simply turn it on remotely with her WoL then RDP in once it's finished waking. How neat!

Future Plans for this build:

I would like to set up Windows 10 pro on a couple more computers around the hosue that aren't being used and see if I can add them to a domain I have set up on my tower server. I also have another Tower with 16 GB and an SSD I'm thinking of turning into a media streaming server. We could connect it to the Big screen and have it access the main Tower Server I built and a Folder my dad stores all his burned DVD files to, so he can watch his DVDs in the living room and spend more time around the family instead of cooked up in his room all day.

Plans for the future:

I wold love to get my hands on some cisco networking equipment. I was thinking about maybe two switches and a router to see if I can apply some of the concepts I'll learn about during my studying in preparation for the CCNA cert I eventually plan on getting.