Learn how you can build your own private cloud that #RunsOnOpenStack

I have two business ideas to explore, and I decided that now is a good time to take the plunge and create a prototype. My hesitation throughout the last year was due to the time and financial investment required. After some inspiration, detailed thought, and self-evaluation, I am ready to go for it. Worst case scenario, this is going to eat up a lot of my time. Even if I lose time, I will learn a lot about cloud infrastructure, cloud networking, and cloud instance provisioning. My first business idea is in the realm of home and small business network cyber security. The second utilizes a private cloud platform to provision labs for IT and cyber security training. A small virtual lab isn’t going to cut it for these ventures.

My Current Setup

Before I can pursue these builds, I need to upgrade my home network and lab and select a platform. I currently have 3 old used servers (2 Dell PowerEdge R510s and an HP Proliant DL360) for the cloud. For networking, I have an ancient Cisco switch. I think I can get by with the old switch for now, but my small private cloud requires more servers. I can use the private cloud to provision networks to test out capabilities, learn, and design. These can also hold prototypes and proof of concepts for demonstrations. For the private cloud, I selected OpenStack as my platform. This will allow me to provision instances using Terraform, and have more flexibility with networking configuration. I can also avoid a large AWS and Azure bill while I experiment with different configurations. The only thing that will suffer is my power bill.

These are my Dell R510s and Cisco 3560, forgive the mess, straightening this out is part of the project.

Project Goals

Based on the OpenStack documentation I will need at least 4-5 servers to support my configuration which is a small compute cloud. To use Juju and Metal as a Service (MAAS) to deploy the cloud, I will need 2 more servers, but I could probably use one of my servers and host 2 VMs instead of purchasing another server. I haven’t yet decided whether I am going to use Juju and MAAS to deploy OpenStack, but I do know that I need at least 2 more servers for my project. I also want to separate my private cloud from the rest of my network and still maintain network performance with the added security, so I will need a firewall / IPS appliance. Once complete, my home network will look something like this:

The private cloud will be located on a DMZ allowing me to apply different security standards.

My Private Cloud Budget

I am trying to stay under $2,000 total for this project (including what I already spent). Below is the price I paid for everything I already have.

Device Qty Unit Cost Shipping Total Cost
HP ProLiant DL360 1 $149.99 $112.89 $262.88
Dell PowerEdge R510 2 $238.99 $75.00 $552.98
Cisco Catalyst 3560 1 $69.00 $17.95 $86.95
Total Cost $902.81

Existing devices with costs at the time of purchase

So, based on that I have about $1100 to spend. Although I have plenty of room, I am sticking with used equipment. The only exception I am making is my firewall appliance.

Purchasing New Equipment

I was able to find 2 Dell PowerEdge R610s for $157 each, well within budget. My shipping costs to my location are really high, so I have to keep that in mind. Even with the shipping costs, I still consider these a bargain and they meet my needs. These servers also come from the same vendor as my previous purchases (PC Server and Parts), so I know they will arrive in good condition and operate well.

Dell PowerEdge R610 server

Next I need a firewall appliance, for this I am going straight to a vendor because their site is a lot cheaper than Amazon. This appliance from Protectli has 4 NICs, a quad core processor, and a small SSD. This is more than enough to run pfsense (and it was already tested for it), so it will easily meet my needs and be a step up from my current options for under $300.

Protectli Firewall Appliance

Total Costs

With those 2 purchases, I have all the equipment I will need, and significantly under my max budget! The only other purchase I might make is a rack to store the equipment and a PDU. For now, I just have to wait for them to arrive. I plan to start sometime in December. While I wait, I am going to work on my remote access solutions, determine what IDS/IPS I am going to use (Suricata, Snort, or Bro), and finalize my design of how this will all fit together.

Device Qty Unit Cost Shipping Total Cost
HP ProLiant DL360 1 $149.99 $112.89 $262.88
Dell PowerEdge R510 2 $238.99 $75.00 $552.98
Cisco Catalyst 3560 1 $69.00 $17.95 $86.95
Protectli FW4B 1 $282.00 $7.00 $289.00
Dell PowerEdge R610 2 $156.99 $111.00 $424.98
Total Cost $1616.79

Existing devices with costs at time of purchase

This article was originally posted on mattglass-it.com. See the original article here.