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Open Source Home VM Server help and advise

Discussion in 'Software' started by PegasusM, 18 Nov 2013.

  1. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    I'm going to be building a home server soon but I thought I'd post my plan here so you can help me avoid any mistakes and to help others doing something similar.

    The server will sit between my router and my home network and be based on an i3 with 4-8GB RAM and 4TB+ of storage (NAS), there is a Synology NAS on the network that it will be backed up to.

    My plan is for it to:
    run Ubuntu Server as the host OS with Virtualbox running the following VMs-
    • pfsense to act as a router to the rest of the network with a firewall, antivirus, caching and dhcp.
    • freenas to act as a NAS for file sharing and media streaming with NFS for XBMC and DLNA for smart TVs
    • Linux VM (distro?) for bittorrent with deluge, this will be connected to a VPN so that any VPN overhead will not affect the host or networked machine's internet connections.

    What I'm looking for is any amendments to OSs, suggestions for software or additional VMs I might want to run. Alternatively, is there a better/easier way of doing this?
    thanks
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    ESXi would make a good host and is free, you lose the ability to log on to it locally but is probably the best
     
  3. deathtaker27

    deathtaker27 #noob

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    I was going to say same as saspro (damn ninja)

    Go for a VMware box will make it easier
     
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  4. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    I'll look into ESXi thanks, what's the advantage of using that over Ubuntu Server? I assume lower resource usage and better VM performance but will that make much difference in this case?
     
  5. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    ESXi I find alot more intuitive than ubuntu server, easier to partition off resources, backup etc.
     
  6. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    ESXi is designed for virtualisation so less overheads and more stable platform.

    It's also more use knowing it for future jobs etc
     
  7. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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  8. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    awesome, thanks for the advice, I'll definitely give ESXi and unitrends backup a go.
     
  9. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    ESXi is ace. If you go for new AMD FX stuff you can get IOMMU pasthrough also.... alowing you to do as I have done: I have seperate virtualised Ubuntu servers for SQL, Bind DNS. Then a NAS4Free installation with ZFS using passthrough of a PCIe 4 port sata card for RaidZ. And a reluctant IIS webserver as my friend uses IIS so it makes sense to always keep IIS as my dev environment.

    NAS4free plays nice in ESXi, but I found a lot of negative rep for using FreeNAS in ESXi. This despite them being pretty much the same bsd thing.

    With a seperate nas as well as virtualised one, you could set up rsync cron jobs to both and you are in good hands.
     
  10. koola

    koola Minimodder

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    Highly recommend CentOS and KVM. Easy to manage, automate and backup.
     
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  11. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    I'm a bit confused how the hard drive share will work. If I have a partition of the drive for storing files I would want the NAS4free/freeNAS VM to share this over the network and the bittorrent vm to be able to access it also. Do I need to create a virtual hard disk first and then add it to both VMs and then transfer files to it across the network? Or is there a way to map a partition in the VMs? Also what file system would I use?
     
  12. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    You create a datastore on free space on a drive.
    Then create virtual hdd's on that
    If you want to share data then you use regular sharing as you can't link a HDD to 2 VM's (like you can't plug a physical drive in to 2 real PC's)
     
  13. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    Thanks that makes sense. Is it then possible to resize the datastore and virtual hdds later?
     
  14. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Datastores no (well you can but I wouldn't do it)
    virtual HDD's yes.

    You can add datastores and hdd's to servers as you need them later on if you need to
     
  15. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    What hardware are you (planning on) using for this?
     
  16. adrock

    adrock Caninus Nervous Rex

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    personally, i don't rate deluge. the UI is great, but i've found it a bit sluggish overall, had memory leak issues with the web client. i use rtorrent+rutorrent although i'll admit it's on a seedbox and i didn't configure it, but it's been much better for me.

    i'd vote for ESXi too, if only because i've been using it at work for 6+ years and if i suggested something else and you had problems i'd feel guilty i couldn't offer any help.

    you can't link a HDD to 2 VMs, but if you want to invest 6 or 7 figures into some enterprise san stuff you can probably get the same effect :)
     
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  17. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    Intel Core i3-540
    Gigabyte GA-H55M-D2H
    8GB DDR3 1600Mhz
    PCIE gigabit network card (not got this yet, any recommendations?)
    Seagate 3TB ST3000DM001 7200rpm
     
  18. PegasusM

    PegasusM Stand back, I'm doing science

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    I've not used deluge yet, I'll try rtorrent+rutorrent first and see if i like it, thanks.
    ESXi is my first choice now. Yeah that's fine as long as I can setup one on NAS4free and share it with the other :)
     
  19. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    you can share via the NAS to everything. Just create applicable account and use whatever you choose to do so. NFS or Cifs.

    Ok. (I believe you have no VT d) Yeah so with your hardware you will be limited to giving the virtual NAS its hdds as virtual devices (I'm never sure of the terminology) rather than passing through any controller etc. There is a limit on VMDK of 2tb I think (i think this is done away with now but should feature in plans if you have a 3tb drive). Obviously a nas won't care and you can stripe 3 if you wanted... I wouldn't. But you could.

    NAS4free has some sort of torrent client built in... never used it though.

    Best bet is to use Intel Gigabit cards. Although some realtek stuff plays nice. YOu'd have to look at the one on the board.

    Edit: Other people are probably better to answer these as I don't do this day to day, just a tinkerer.
     
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  20. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Intel NIC's all the way with vmware.
    Multiple NIC's if you can
     
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