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Thoughts on G8 build...


DJ4D
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I'm contemplating asking Mrs Santa to bring me a G8 Micro for Christmas and was hoping that someone could sanity check my thoughts please:-

 

 - G8 1610T running Esxi 6.0

 

 - pfSense VM 

  - Gateway / Firewall on a dedicated WAN NIC

  - Snort

  - Traffic Shaping / QoS to prioritise my son's XBox Live traffic

  - Netflow

  - VPN for outbound traffic

  - VPN server inbound for me / Mrs to access local storage [documents / music / family photos / videos]

 

 - UnRaid VM

  - Managing SATA storage to present to Kodi media server + various Windows / Apple / Android mobile devices

 

 - Ubuntu / ClearOS / CentOS VM [not sure which yet]

  - Network monitoring via Netflow and alerts

  - MYSQL for Kodi

 

- Connected to TP Link Wireless Router via second NIC on the G8

 - Ubuntu media server running Kodi connected to wireless router via ethernet

 - Windows / Apple / Android / mobile devices and XBox One connecting via wireless

 

 - Not sure which light Linux distro to use for the Linux VM for reporting + MYSQL [i'm familiar with Ubuntu]

 - Not sure whether to have DHCP running on pfSense or the wireless router

 - Not sure whether to have Esxi + VMs on an SSD or USB Stick

 - Not sure how the above setup will cope with a stock 1610T 4GB or whether I should look at a CPU or RAM upgrade

 - Not sure whether I should be looking at running Plex for streaming music / videos internally / externally

 

Any advice / thoughts / comments / feedback would be appreciated :)

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- Not sure which light Linux distro to use for the Linux VM for reporting + MYSQL [i'm familiar with Ubuntu]

Any modern Linux distribution is fine. If you're most familiar with Ubuntu then use Ubuntu Server. Another option would be Debian since Ubuntu uses that as its base.

 

- Not sure whether to have DHCP running on pfSense or the wireless router

I'd put it into pfSense just so everything is centrally managed.

 

- Not sure whether to have Esxi + VMs on an SSD or USB Stick

SSD or HD. Using USB storage for VMs isn't supported by ESXi. You can install ESXi to an internal micro-SD card but you will still need a HD or SSD to store the VMs.

 

- Not sure how the above setup will cope with a stock 1610T 4GB or whether I should look at a CPU or RAM upgrade

You need more RAM at a minimum. ESXi 6.0 will use around 1.5GB to 2GB just for itself. The remaining 2GB isn't very much to split across all of those VMs you're planning on running.
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Thank you very much for your suggestions :)

 

Schoolboy error on my part regarding the VMs, I don't think I'd thought that through properly. It would be nice to have ESXi boot from Micro-SD, VMs on SSD, and then 3 HDs plus 1 Parity HD. But it might be useful to have a Cache HD for UnRaid which I'm reading about at the moment, so I may need to re-think about how many HDs I'm going to have in the machine.

 

Upgrading the Ram is valid point as it 'might' work but won't leave much headroom, particularly if I look to using Plex. I will probably try running the system with 8GB, 2GB assigned to each VM and then monitor once the system is operational and adjust accordingly. Or if there are issues then I'd need to upgrade the Ram further.

 

Sound advice though and thanks again for your input :)

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  • 1 month later...

I now have my G8 up and running, stock 1610T CPU and added a further 8GB Ram [total 12GB]. I've made a few changes since my original post, I'll be going with Sophos UTM as opposed to pfSense [not yet setup], and I've installed Xpenology instead of Unraid [currently up and running fine and using RDM].

I also had a bit of a rethink about backups, monitoring and alerting. In an ideal world, I'd probably like to have Windows 2012 server to setup, test and play with from time to time, but primarily this would run Veeam One free plus Veeam backup. My hard drives are setup under Xpenology and using SHR. My VM Datastore is on the SSD [currently port 4 which I need to figure out how to move to port 5 once the floppy power convertor arrives], but I would like to backup the Datastore to the SHR disks just in case. I'd also like Veeam One to monitor ESXi and the VMs with some pretty graphs and stats, but more important is the alerting - this is the bit I'm getting hung-up on. I haven't used Veeam One before, but we are starting to use it at work and it would be nice to have my own setup for testing. We also use Solarwinds which I would love to have at the core of my home network for monitoring and alerting, but it isn't free and costs lots.

In addition to this, I have a requirement for a MySQL database for Kodi which I thought might sit best on Ubuntu [MariaDB?], and even though the Veeam One monitoring is supposed to be very good [and the Veeam Backup integration would be great], but I don't want to have to spin-up and maintain VM's if I don't have to, especially on a limited CPU.

 

So I'm wondering if I should do away with Veeam One and just have ESXi / vSphere, Sophos UTM and Xpenology sending SNMP data to a monitoring app running under Ubuntu - but if so, which one?

....or perhaps I should just suck and see, setup 2012 server with Veeam One and Veeam Backup, setup Ubuntu server [headless] with MySQL, setup Sophos UTM, and then have them all feed into a [free] central monitoring system either Windows or Ubuntu? See how it all runs, how much CPU and power its using and then go from there.

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