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Offline Chaosmark

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Home Cloud
« on: September 22, 2014, 06:05:43 PM »
So I came across Xen and XenServer last night, and my eyes lit up like a small child on Christmas with a giant pile of presents under the tree.

I've long desired to have some form of virtualization setup at home, but vSphere requires virtualization support from the hardware, and Hyper-V likewise (plus, it's Microsoft, so @!#$ that). VirtualBox doesn't require hardware support, but it also has severe stability issues in my experience. It's just not stable enough to be used as the basis of a home cloud.

In contrast, Xen seems like a miracle given form. It can use, but doesn't require, hardware virtualization support, it's completely open-source, and it's footprint is ridiculously small. Furthermore, it's used by Amazon for their EC2 offering, and by Rackspace for their cloud hosting, so stability is obviously not an issue. Combined with the community support that inevitably arises around open-source projects, I'm rather elated at the prospects here.

Anyone have any suggestions for what to do once I get this thing going on some of my spare boxes? I've got a few ideas, but I'd love to hear yours as well.
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2014, 05:10:32 PM »
So I made a half-step forward, and a step back.

We were cleaning one of our back rooms at work to turn it into an office, and we came across an old Dell Poweredge 1900 that had been the PDC for a client years ago. As in, it was replaced years ago. Well, it was going to get scrapped anyway, so I asked my boss if I could have it, and he was like, "Yeah sure". So I hauled it home (incidentally, this thing weighs somewhere around 40-50 kilos; that was a fun experience).

Well, it sat around for the past week while I went through insanity and fire and flame and death and mayhem. But I found the time today to plug it in and boot it up with a XenServer CD. Alas, it refuses to let me boot in any fashion aside from PXE. Additionally, it has an issue with one of the PCIXe slots. Apparently the card is mis-seated or something, but when I cracked the case, it was seated just fine. All in all, I think I'm just going to have to pull the drives and toss the rest. It would've been a reasonable machine, but the actual specs on it aren't that whippy (theoretical for the motherboard is 16 gigs of ram, this has 4), and since it apparently sounds like a monster when running (I got a mild taste of it when the fans went berserk on start-up, then spun down), I think I'm going to bypass using this particular machine for the cloud. The work to get it up and running is going to be beyond what it'll take for me to just build a custom machine anyway.

On the other hand, I did nab myself a pair of nice SATA drives, though I haven't pulled them to see what their sizes are just yet. Additionally, since I'm discarding this box as a potential host, I've now got the thought of perhaps nabbing a half-rack from somewhere and building some 2U rack-mounted servers. I've also read of one person who actually set up video cards and whatnot as part of his cloud-rack and used them for a gaming VM that replaced an entire desktop. This sounds...appealing. Building a virtualized gaming rig sounds like an utter blast. Quad-card rendering, 64 GB of RAM, a dozen vCPUs, all with commodity hardware? Yes please!
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline Strolen

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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2014, 07:26:53 PM »
XBMC!

Minecraft server.

Those are the two things I would use it for. With virtualization, I could have them both at the same time! :)

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 08:46:07 AM »
Well now, XBMC is pretty much precisely the sort of suggestion I was hoping to get. I had no clue about it before, but now I want!
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 12:38:46 PM »
Heh, my office used to live right next to the data center. Lots and lots of fan noise... Firing up a blade server would sound like a jet engine prepping for takeoff.
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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 02:43:13 PM »
Anyone here interested in starting some kind of tech dev information exchange group?

Gotta keep sharp and up to date, you know. ;)
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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 06:45:19 PM »
I want home automation!

Not that nest crap. More the X10 variation, but cooler.

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Home Cloud
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 02:19:03 PM »
Worth including here:

This is my intended network map, once I have everything up and going. I'm anticipating this being somewhere near done in approximately 2-3 years.

P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --