Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
woad

VSphere-based HTPC/Media Centre

Recommended Posts

woad

First post here, looking for help/advice

Have been using HP Microservers for a few years, lovely little boxes. Until recently, running one of the older boxes, an N40, with a Radeon 6450 with Openelec as a media-server. Or more precisely, a 'front end'; it pulls media (video, music) from my Synology NAS and plays it over TV/Amp. Kinda like a PopCornHour A300 on steroids. Works a treat. The box is being re-purposed as a firewall, because I bought a Gen8, and upgraded it with a Xeon 1265-L2, and the 6450.

What I would like to do is virtualise the HTPC as a VM - because the Xeon system is overkill for a media centre. My question is, is this possible?

ie

HPGen8 with VSphere 6.5, one or more VMs

VM 1 has 2 GB RAM, 1 dedicated [physical] CPU, and pass-through PCI-e (the 6450)

Presumably this is possible:

  • VM1 will run Openelec, and have access to the 6450 for video acceleration (for mp4/mkv playback and hdmi audio), and display will be passed out to the amp/tv
  • 1 USB port passed to the VM, so I can run a wireless remote control.
  • Possibly a second USB port passed through so I can run a wireless keyboard with trackball

Intend to add other VMs, (perhaps a LInux based mail server, or MS SBS of some flavour), but thats for the future.

I'm new to VSphere/ESXi, so don't know much at all, let alone "what I don't know"...

 

My experiments with VSphere so far result in PCI-pass through to the VM, but the output from the video card is the VSphere boot-up screen 'frozen' when loading a shim, and all interaction with the VM is via a browser... not what I was hoping for. How do I redirect the VM's video output over the video card?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stehayes81

I have had both Hyper-V and Vsphere working on my Homelab Microserver without any issues running things like server2012r2, Plex server, Windows 7, and 10 Linux but I have never wanted to do the passthru although i have read on various posts this is possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nrf

passthru sounds neat, and simple enough for 'peripherals', but for a video card, how do you keep the host from accessing it while the vm is supposed to own it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eddie563
On 5/18/2017 at 2:48 PM, nrf said:

passthru sounds neat, and simple enough for 'peripherals', but for a video card, how do you keep the host from accessing it while the vm is supposed to own it?

the default video adapter would the the on-board set in bios i presume like you could do with the DL380 G6, (Could set, front only, back only or both) that way it would not use the card as the graphics display and would be available for passthrough.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nrf

great, please let us know how it goes. hopefully hdcp will work in that configuration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
woad

@eddie563

 

Ok, so I need to enable the onboard VGA BIOS as default, then presumably do some "hacking about" in the config to obtain the PCI device number of the video card for passthru... I've seen a tutorial on that.

 

What do you mean by setting "front only, back only, or both"? 

 

Many thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
eddie563

on a rack mounted server, like the model i mentioned. it has vga on the back and front. it was an example, but on the Microserver, as you know, you only have one.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
woad

@eddie563

 

Many thanks - find it best to ask questions just to clarify and confirm what I thought you said is what you meant, or not :-)

 

Cheers! Now to find time to try :D

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
emulemodes

I'm having a sound problem. I cannot receive sound as an HDMI input.

Barametal has no problem on the card. But I'm having trouble in Esxi.  Version 6.7.u3

 

birinci.JPG

ikinci.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • Josef
      By Josef
      Hi,
      I have "new" HP MS Gen8 with HP smart RAID B120i. CPU G1610T, factory date cca 2016(?)
      I cant use  FREENAS with software raid (as on my old BlackCube) because my G8 colect my HDDs to RAID at all AHCI BIOS/Setup configurations
      Whan I try use F5 to disable RAID, HP app Smart Store Administrator show me message:
      "No licenses found on the selected controller."
      viz pictures
      HP Smart Store Administrator show me "0 Physical drivers" (3x WD 4TB + 1x WD 3TB, all HDD3,5" NAS ware 3.0)
      and in Freenas I can see one "disk" 7,7TB ... :-(

      I used directly connected LCD and keyboard for elininated  iLO trouble.
      Box is out of HP warranty.
       
      q1: Do you have some idea about restore Raid Licence ?
      q2: How eliminated Smart Raid function?
      q3: Exist any HP or community firmware to convert B120i as only AHCI mode without Raid functions ? 
       
      Thanks
      thanks for every useful advice Josef



    • acidzero
      By acidzero
      Hello,
       
      So, after several days of testing various different configurations, creating custom ESXi install ISOs and numerous reinstalls, I've managed to get ESXi 6.5U1 installed on my Microserver Gen8 and have working HP Smart Array P410 Health Status showing. For those that are struggling to do the same, firstly here's how. I used original VMWare ESXi 6.5U1 ISO, build 5969303 then made the following modifications:
       
      Remove driver "ntg3" - If I left this in, I had a weird network issue where Port 1 or 2 would repeatedly connect/drop every few seconds. This forces ESXi to use the working net-tg3 driver Remove driver "nhpsa" - this Smart Storage Array driver is what causes array health monitoring to not work. Remove to force ESXi to use working "hpsa" driver Add the Nov 2017 HPE vib bundles Remove hpe-smx-provider v650.01.11.00.17 - This version seems to cause the B120i or P410 to crash when querying health status Add hpe-smx-provider v600.03.11.00.9 (downloaded from HPE vibsdepot)
      Add scsi-hpvsa v5.5.0-88 bundle (downloaded from HPE drivers page)
      Add scsi-hpdsa v5.5.0.54 bundle (downloaded from HPE drivers page)
       
      I did the above by getting a basic/working ESXi/VCSA installation and then creating a custom ISO in VCSA AutoDeploy and exporting it. But the same can be achieved by installing VMWare's original ISO and modifying via the esxcli command.
       
      I have a SSD connected to the SATA port, onto which I am installing ESXi. The 4 front drive bays are connected to the P410.
       
      Configure the Microserver Gen8 B120i to use AHCI mode - the B120i is a fake raid card so only reports physical disks to ESXi. Leaving in RAID mode works but I got a false Health Alert on Disk Bay 5 Install my modified ESXi ISO to the SSD  
      With these modifications I have a working ESXi 6.5U1 on my Gen8 with fully functioning HPE tools and array health monitoring:
       

      I also tested disabling the vmw_ahci driver, which is why the AHCI controller shows it is using ahci in the above image.

       
      If I pull out a disk to test a raid failure, when the health status next updates I can see a raid health alert in the ESXi WebGUI:
       

       
      However I'm now stuck at the next stage - getting this storage health to pass through to VCSA. VCSA can successfully see all other health monitors (under System Sensors in ESXi) just not the storage, which is the most important.
       

       
      Does anyone know how I can get the storage health working in VCSA?
       
      Thanks.
    • H00GiE
      By H00GiE
      I'd like to start using vDGA on ESXi with my ML10v2.
      The host is running ESXi 6.0 u3 HP Customized.

      If successful/possible i'd like to be running a Windows 10 VM with a Quadro k2000
      (in HCL list of vmware for vDGA)
      The VM will have up to 12GB ram and 4vcores and the Quadro card in passthrough mode this vm is meant to broadcast live video to twitch/youtube/fblive using Xsplit.
      live audio will be muxed in via virtual audio cable and local icecast server's stream.
      It does not matter if the remote desktop is stuttering or choppy as long as the broadcasted material is acceptable. 
      There will be a lot of video clips and overlays running, and i'll be run realtime 3D visualizations. the CPU and GPU would normally easily handle this workload.

      A HP332T and NC112T will be replacing 3 out ot the 4ports of the NC364T as this card won't have enough bandwidth on 1x PCIe for 4x gbit connections.
       
      (Considering the config of my ML10v2 (below in signature) and the fact i have a ml310e v2 front 80mm fan installed in server.) i'm just wondering:
      1: can the ML10 v2 handle all it's PCIe lanes being saturated (pcie3.0: 8x for Quadro K2000, 8x for LSI/CISCO RAID9271CV-8i PCIe2.0: 1x for HP 332T and 1x for NC112T)?
      2: will any of this config cause any bottleneck to any other hardware?
      3: is this a feasible configuration? (The resources are there to be used, it will not push other VM's resources.)
    • koth
      By koth
      I'm not sure I would call this a review, but I want to share some initial observations.
       
      Boot time is slow. I never had a Microserver before, so this might well be faster than the previous generation, but this is still pretty slow.
       
      It didn't come with any real instructions, the instructions just direct you to go to a url. The url is broken or not active yet. Nice one HPE.
       
      I loaded esxi 6.5 immediately. During the install process, it hung at 27% for a very long time. So long that I was sure it was locked up, so I went to download an iso of windows server to install instead, but when I finished downloading it I found out the esxi install actually did finish eventually.
       
      Installing a Windows Server 2016 Standard system as my first VM. For some reason it choked when I tried to start the VM with 5GB of RAM (out of the 7.5GB availible). Maybe the virtual dvd drive uses a lot of RAM? Set to 4GB, it starts fine. Still going through the install process at this point.

       

       

    • Sweenie
      By Sweenie
      I was looking at the specifications of the new Microserver Gen10 and I find them a bit disappointing, so I'm considering buying a ML30 Gen9 (872658-421). I have a few questions concerning this server.
      Is this server configured with 4LFF Hot Plug or 4LFF Non Hot Plug cage? Does I come with drive bay caddies? Which ones I have to buy if I use non HPE HDDs? What kind of HDD do you recommend? NAS HDDs or other?
      I want run some virtual machines on it and use this server as file server, webserver, database server. If I install ESXi 6.5 on it, can I create a RAID 1 for the datastore? Or do I need a RAID controller and which do you recommend? If it's not possible or too expensive, I probably go for Windows Server 2016 or Server 2016 Essentials and install VMware Workstation 12 Pro on it. Is this possible?
      Thanks in advance.


×
×
  • Create New...