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Hello all,

 

A few questions for those who use Type-1 Hypervisors on their Gen8 MicroServers...

 

I am looking to try ESXi or ProxMox and have been reading a lot of the threads on here.
Hopefully you guys can help with some harder to find answers I have been seeking.

 

1) Which would be the better way to setup ProxMox:

     a) Hypervisor on Internal MicroSD, VMs installed on SSD in ODD Port, Data on 4x HDDs in bays.

     b) Hypervisor on Internal USB, VMs installed on SSD in ODD Port, Data on 4x HDDs in bays.

     c) Hypervisor and VMs both installed on same SSD (partitioned?) in ODD Port, Data on 4x HDDs in bays.
     d) Hypervisor on SSD using a USB-to-SATA cable on Internal USB, VMs installed on separate SSD in ODD Port, Data on 4x HDDs in bays.
 

2) Would a 128GB SSD be a ‘waste‘ for installing a Hypervisor on? How much space is typically needed?
 

3) How many VMs have you guys run on a Gen8 comfortably without it being sluggish?

 

4) Everyone seems to be going RAID crazy these days. Is there any reason to use it if high-availability is not that necessary and a good backup plan is in place? What is wrong with separate disks (or singular Raid0s)?

 

5) Does using Type-1 Hypervisors have any effect on the internal fans speed/noise? Is it possible to have 3-5 VMs running and still have the fan speed @~8% as it was when I was using 2 nested (Type-2) VMs?

 

Sorry in advance if some of these questions are silly, common knowledge, or “depends on what you are doing in the VMs!” 😆

 

Thanks in advance to all those that help!

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Hey, I can comment a bit on some of your question as I just migrated my homelab from esxi 6 to proxmox-ve 6.1-11

 

Quick intro on my setup:

microserver gen8 with an Itnel Xeon E3-1230 V2 @3.60GHz

16GB RAM

1 disk  2TB WD Red NAS HardDrive on bay 1

1 SSD 240GB Crucial on bay 2

 

Was tired with ESXI as limitation on licence and the need to have the vcenter installed on top of my esxi to manage the vms taking much of the available RAM and also licence bound which was a nightmare whenever you need to upgrade.

 

Long story short, I decided to move on and get rid of the esxi and install Proxmox.

 

Was also considering https://xcp-ng.org/ but with the uncertainty of what is going on with citrix trying to kill the open source project, at least that is my feeling while reading here and there, I finally decided to go with Proxmox which, btw, is debian based which I am comfortable with and has its prox and cons that on the overall suits my use case better for now.

 

Well, I am not an expert, just want to keep it simple and have an working lab to play with to test new techs like deploying a kubernetes cluster and playing with it and integrating with my git ci/cd etc.

 

Back to your question.

 

questions 1 and 2 I think that any combination would do the work. 

 

In my case as I only have 2 disks, I installed everything hypervisor on the 2TB disk on the bay1 and left the SSD for whenever I will need it to spin a VM that needs to be snappier.

 

I also decided to deploy ZFS as RAID0 on my 2TB disk as my intent here is to get used with this FS as I am more familiar with the good old LVM and having tho create the PVS, VGS and LVS and ultimately your EXT4 partition etc.

 

I must confess that I am enjoying the easiness of use of ZFS and how we can create Datasets with quotas to present as mount points to your application and also the sharenfs that is present on ZFS really cool stuff.

 

Keep in mind thought that the caveat is ZFS is memory RAM hunger intensive and it'll certainly take a toll on the total number of VM's you can spin at a time which addresses you question number 3.

 

I have 3 VM's running K8S cluster and with the ZFS it is already taking 79% of Total RAM available so the way it's going I only have room for a few more VM's to run.

But as I am testing a K8S cluster here I can spin as many pods as I need which is my main goal for now on this setup.

 

Question 5 , my fan is quiet as ever and it is not increasing the speed and it's been quieter than ever so far.

 

Well hope I addressed some of your concerns.

 

You may want to have a look on the xcp-ng as it seems to be a solid free hypervisor as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Thiago said:

Hey, I can comment a bit on some of your question as I just migrated my homelab from esxi 6 to proxmox-ve 6.1-11

 

Quick intro on my setup:

microserver gen8 with an Itnel Xeon E3-1230 V2 @3.60GHz

16GB RAM

1 disk  2TB WD Red NAS HardDrive on bay 1

1 SSD 240GB Crucial on bay 2

 

Was tired with ESXI as limitation on licence and the need to have the vcenter installed on top of my esxi to manage the vms taking much of the available RAM and also licence bound which was a nightmare whenever you need to upgrade.

 

Long story short, I decided to move on and get rid of the esxi and install Proxmox.

 

Was also considering https://xcp-ng.org/ but with the uncertainty of what is going on with citrix trying to kill the open source project, at least that is my feeling while reading here and there, I finally decided to go with Proxmox which, btw, is debian based which I am comfortable with and has its prox and cons that on the overall suits my use case better for now.

 

Well, I am not an expert, just want to keep it simple and have an working lab to play with to test new techs like deploying a kubernetes cluster and playing with it and integrating with my git ci/cd etc.

 

Back to your question.

 

questions 1 and 2 I think that any combination would do the work. 

 

In my case as I only have 2 disks, I installed everything hypervisor on the 2TB disk on the bay1 and left the SSD for whenever I will need it to spin a VM that needs to be snappier.

 

I also decided to deploy ZFS as RAID0 on my 2TB disk as my intent here is to get used with this FS as I am more familiar with the good old LVM and having tho create the PVS, VGS and LVS and ultimately your EXT4 partition etc.

 

I must confess that I am enjoying the easiness of use of ZFS and how we can create Datasets with quotas to present as mount points to your application and also the sharenfs that is present on ZFS really cool stuff.

 

Keep in mind thought that the caveat is ZFS is memory RAM hunger intensive and it'll certainly take a toll on the total number of VM's you can spin at a time which addresses you question number 3.

 

I have 3 VM's running K8S cluster and with the ZFS it is already taking 79% of Total RAM available so the way it's going I only have room for a few more VM's to run.

But as I am testing a K8S cluster here I can spin as many pods as I need which is my main goal for now on this setup.

 

Question 5 , my fan is quiet as ever and it is not increasing the speed and it's been quieter than ever so far.

 

Well hope I addressed some of your concerns.

 

You may want to have a look on the xcp-ng as it seems to be a solid free hypervisor as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hi Thiago, thanks for the response and explanation.

 

I had not heard of xcp-ng and it definitely looks interesting. I too would also be worried about Citrix chasing them down as they are based on Xen. The reason why I was leaning towards Proxmox was the fact that it was open source, as I had also considered just using Hyper-V before deciding on ESXi (and just recently hearing about Proxmox). I have always used Windows on my MicroServers but the experience I do have with Linux is all Debian.

 

Memory-intensive filesystems are a bit of a worry for me. I do not plan to do any kind of striping or mirroring at this point, and may look into that more later when I become a pro at virtualisation lol but for now it’s not a requirement. With that being said would there be any benefit of using ZFS? Isn’t the way it handles RAID (or quasi-RAID) the whole reason why people love it?

 

I am really happy to hear your fan is still quiet! Fantastic! I take it you are still using B120i? Any reason you did not think about using the internal MicroSD/USB ports? Is your boot HDD partitioned?

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I used to use the internal MicroSD as a boot drive for ESXi. However, one day, it went bad, and it was a hassle having to disconnect all the cables and open up the server. So I decided to use an external USB stick (one of the Sandisk Ultra Fit 16GB USBs that don't stick out much). Maintaining my server was easier with an external USB stick. It also made it easier to test booting up different or new OSs. My server is in the basement where noone goes so it's not a risk having an external USB. I have a P222 controller so use RAID 1 with 2 SSDs and RAID 1 with two hard disks. I use internal SSD for ESXi datastore. It's been a number of years since I setup my server, and I haven't actually had much need for the hard disks (it turns out that the VMs I put in my server didn't need much capacity for data). If I had known I wasn't going to use the hard disks, I may not have bothered with the P222/RAID 1. A good backup may have sufficed (assuming you have the luxury of downtime for restore).

A couple of other ESXi servers I built later just use NVMe (and not using RAID).

 

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Sounds good. That’s the idea, to set everything up and never have to again.

Did you notice any fan speed/noise changes when you installed the P222?

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I just setup Hyper-V Server 2019 on mine it works well and previously used ESXi on the microsd.

Not heard of Proxmox i will have to check it out what's it like compared to ESXi/Hyper-V ?

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40 minutes ago, dynamikspeed said:

I just setup Hyper-V Server 2019 on mine it works well and previously used ESXi on the microsd.

Not heard of Proxmox i will have to check it out what's it like compared to ESXi/Hyper-V ?

 

Did you have to do anything special to install Hyper-V Server 2019 on your MicroServer Gen8? Or did it just install cleanly?

1 hour ago, E3000 said:

Sounds good. That’s the idea, to set everything up and never have to again.

Did you notice any fan speed/noise changes when you installed the P222?

 

No additional fan noise on my system.

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My setup:

microserver gen8 with an Xeon(R) CPU E31260L @ 2.40GHz

16GB RAM

Smart Array P420

2 disk  SSD 240GB disks raid1 - OS + apps

4 3TB disks RAID6 - DATA

1 3TB external disk - torrents.

 

I'm running plain livbirt(KVM) with kimchi interface (https://github.com/kimchi-project/kimchi)

running 5 VM.

 

Fan Speed : ( = 11)

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6 hours ago, scorpi2ok2 said:

My setup:

microserver gen8 with an Xeon(R) CPU E31260L @ 2.40GHz

16GB RAM

Smart Array P420

2 disk  SSD 240GB disks raid1 - OS + apps

4 3TB disks RAID6 - DATA

1 3TB external disk - torrents.

 

I'm running plain livbirt(KVM) with kimchi interface (https://github.com/kimchi-project/kimchi)

running 5 VM.

 

Fan Speed : ( = 11)


This is interesting. Do you have all VMs and host on the same disk?

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