Home Harvester part 1

Harvester part 1

Harvester, is it any good?

So I mostly work with Suse products. SLES, Opensuse, rancher and so on.
SLES mostly on work, Opensuse I use at home a bit and rancher cause it is a awesome product which helps me to understand kubernetes allot better.

So where does harvester stand in this case?
Well it is actually pretty cool tech that I didn’t had a use case for, still don’t. But since it sounds pretty interesting I thought let me try it out.
And of course, you need to keep learning a bit.

Harvester, what is it and what can it do?

Well lets start with what Harvester is. It is a open source hyperconverged infrastructure solution built on kubernetes.
Sounds fancy pancy of course but a TLDR is:
Hypervisor specially made with kubernetes and HCI in mind. It uses a minimal openSUSE leap image and kubevirt to provide a way to provisen a VM. And Longhorn for shared storage.

MInimal requirements are pretty heavy but hey it isn’t meant for a homelab.
8 C min, 16 rec
32 GB Min, 64 rec
200 GB disk min, 500 GB + prod
And just use SSDs is the main thing
1GB network for testing. 10 GB recommended.

Well my homelab doesn’t meet most of the requirements but we will manage.

The plan

So as stated my homelab doesn’t meet most requirements.
It has a 6C 32GB mem and around 1.5 TB of ssd storage.
I will add a 10 GB nic later on. First need to do some research on 10gb switches that are affordable.
Currently it runs proxmox and most of my automation is build around that.
So a couple of steps are needed:

1) Inventory current automation and vm’s
2) Remove the current disks and add new disks (I have a couple laying around here)
3) install harvester + hope I can score another low powered desktop
4) Basic setup stuff, nothing interesting.
5) Automate everything that I can automate.


So lets go through a tiny bit of what I have currenlty in my homelab. One PC with the following specs: i5 8600, 32 GB mem. 1.5 TB of SSD Storage. Vms: 7 Running

  • Athena
    • K3s node
  • Eir
    • Pihole (DNS)
  • Graffie
    • Grafana and prometheus host
  • Tail-node
    • Tailscale node
  • Njord
    • K3s Node
  • Sparta
    • K3s Node / Rancher entry point
  • Win2019
    • Windows AD
    • Ansible windows test host

So everything could actually be ran inside of a kubernetes cluster but hey later on I will try out that step when I had some more training :)

So in total not so bad.
k3s nodes only 1 important thing runs on it and that is AWX. So main thing for that is to figure out the backup strategy.
Grafana and prometheus. Not imporant, was just a test.
Tailscale node. Not important, was there since I am almost moving houses and I can hookup my raspberry pi again.
Windows Server Not important also and I will explain later why.

I also have 2 templates ready for a VM deployment if needed they can be recreated through packer farely easily.

There is currently no monitoring system in my lab since I don’t really need it. If something breaks I will have my main user (My girlfriend) complain that she has to many ads on something. Maybe I will add some in the future.
Then I can add some more webhooks to discord to get the notifications.

What is there still to do?

Well I need to figure out a couple of Ansible playbooks. 1) k3s nodes and then also add AWX directly to it.
1) Or just 1 node and AWX with a ingress and done.
2) Pihole install with current config.. Just some DNS records that are in a file so not to bad
3) Tailscale playbook? Not 100% needed but hey with Ansible you can do everything.

The Windows server is not needed since I have a playbook that can run on the windows server that will:

  • Update the server
  • Install some packages through chocolatey
  • set a hostname + static IP
  • Creates AD
  • And imports a basic layout of OU and users and groups that I have exported before

The idea is to have KISS 100%. If something breaks I don’t care, just create a new VM with a clone from the template.. Run Ansible and done. Any files or something like that will go to my NAS which backs it up to Onedrive. Not perfect but hey I don’t need much.

And onwards!

When I have moved to my new house I will continue on this Suse Harvester adventure. In the mean time I will write a couple more playbooks for at home. If people would like it I can share it on my Gitlab or Github And please remember, I am not a professional writer. I am dislectic as it could be and this blog is just for fun.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.