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Pursuing My Virtualization Dream At Home...advice?


nlitend1
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Hi,

 

New to the forums and to virtualization (ran a few Vmware VM's about 3 years ago, but nothing serious), but have listened to the podcast for a while now. I've read through most of the threads in the forum, but still have some questions.

 

I started with an AMD 4850e WHS v1 in 2008 and recently turned that box into a WHS 2011. The Dual core cpu was getting a little old and I have since built a Intel e5200 based HTPC for the living room. With windows 8 and server 8 in the 'near' future, I decided it was probably time to upgrade the old server to some more modern hardware. Here is a list of hardware I have at my disposal to build 4 machines (1 server, plus 2 HTPCs plus my laptop hard drive)

 

Please help me plan my builds or make any suggestions you may have!

 

C2Q Q9300 6MB cache (Xeon X3320 equivalent)

8GB DDR3

 

2TB Seagate Barracuda XT 64MB Cache

2TB WD EARS Green Drive 64MB Cache

1TB WD EADS Green Drive 32MB Cache

1.5TB WD EADS Green Drive 32 MD Cache

320GB WD Black 7200k Laptop Drive 16MB Cache

64GB SuperTalent SSD with TRIM Support

 

AMD 4850e Dual Core CPU with AMD-V

4GB DDR2

 

Intel e5200 Dual Core CPU (No virtualization)

4GB DDR2

 

All MB's have integrated Gigabit LAN

HDHOMERUN PRIME :D with FiOS (all content copy freely)

1 PCI Intel Gigabit LAN Card

 

I love WHS and have enjoyed having remote access to my PC's and the ease of having a remote website I can have. I also have not found a better bare metal backup solution for the home. Single instance storage is just great. The number of addins for WHS v1 is hard to beat, but I absolutely love having server backup on WHS 2011 (just knowing that u can restore to a backup created earlier in the day if something goes haywire in the server OS is almost priceless).

 

So here is my plan as of now:

 

SERVER

Q9300 with 8GB DDR3 running Server 2008R2 (as opposed to standalone Hyper-V for ease of management and snapshots). I would install this host OS on the Barracuda XT (what partition size would be best? or should I just create the whole disk as one partition?) All of the rest of that drive would be used for VHDs for the VM's. This way I can have Server 2008R2 backup to a 2TB drive (possibly 2TB WD EARS Green drive).

 

WHS v1 on 65GB VHD (50GB C:/, 15GB D:/) with 1.5TB WD Green Drive passed through as SCSI Disk

 

The point of this machine is to be able to use some of the WHS v1 addins (hopefully one to encode video files to lower bitrate files from Blu ray disks and DVDs). I am not sure if i'll run the remote website from this VM because I won't have server backup in case something goes haywire with my Gallery Server Pro Photo galleries) Question: will taking snapshots of v1 provide a 'server backup' type feature? (I know i would have to plus any pass-through disks offline in order to do this. I am just wondering if that would actually cause problems. I am keeping the OS drive small to keep data off the D drive in the VHD, but I am uncertain if that reliable enough to perform a restore with confidence).

 

WHS 2011 on (?? VHD size)

 

The point of this machine would be to have the remote website on a system with server backup.

 

WIndows 7 on (120GB VHD)

 

To do WMC recordings and to have an always on system for torrents that's separate from the server OS to potentially ward off viruses. Possibly used for DVD or Blu ray encoding.

 

PfSense or Untangled on (?? VHD size)

 

To do QOS management and possibly reduce popups and viruses. (i'm not too sure on this one yet. Would the integrated + extra LAN card be enough for this?)

 

Various other VM's

 

For testing and learning of Active Directory, windows 8, and server 8. These will be only turned on when in use.

 

Main HTPC

 

Intel e5200

4GB DDR2

320GB WD Black Laptop Drive with 16MB cache (partitioned 60GB OS, Remaining GBs for data)

 

 

Bedroom HTPC

 

AMD 4850e

4GB DDR2

1TB WD EADS Green Drive (partition 100GB OS, Remaining GBs for data)

 

Laptop

 

64GB SSD Drive

 

Additional Questions:

 

Would I achieve better performance by running WHS v1 in a 1TB VHD on the host OS drive? I don't think so, but i'm pretty sure encompassing the whole system on one VHD would achieve my beloved 'server backup' equivalent by using a snapshot of that whole system.

 

I read a thread where a DVD drive could not be passed through to a VM in hyper V for disc encoding. Is that true? If so, could I share the Blu ray drive in my Main HTPC over the network and have it seen by the VM's?

 

Does anyone know of any addins or programs for utilizing the processing power of the server for DVD and blur ray encoding? I know opinions on this may vary, but what works best for you? I am also hoping to find a way to encode WMC recordings to reduce the 1Gb per 10 minute recordings.

 

 

Whew....still with me? As you can see, there's been a lot on on my lately with trying to plan the best way to setup this setup. If nothing else, consider this my Intro to the forums. B) The forums look great here and I'm looking forward to staying involved as I move forward with this project. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Wow, this a wopper of a post but welcome to the forums. I'll give it a bump.

 

I'm not a VM guy but I know Jim and some of the other guys definitely are. Any thoughts guys?

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Wow, this is a whopper of a post! Thanks for the bump Lux. Hopefully some of the VM experts can chime in.

 

I'm not one of those experts but I play one on a podcast! A couple of things jumped out at me. RAM for one. Will your motherboard support anything beyond the 8GB? From the looks of all those VM's I would recommend as much as you can stick in it.

 

One NIC? Wodysweb once told me to stick in as many NIC's as you have PCI slots for your individual VM's. Hopefully he will see this post.

 

Would there be anything to gain by mirroring the main OS drive? I think I would feel better if it were my build.

 

I guess I'm not seeing why you need v1 and 2011. I don't know of anything that v1 can do that 2011 can't. Especially when it comes to encoding and such. All that action happens in other software unless you use MyMovies for ripping then you can do it with both.

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Hi,

 

New to the forums and to virtualization (ran a few Vmware VM's about 3 years ago, but nothing serious), but have listened to the podcast for a while now. I've read through most of the threads in the forum, but still have some questions.

 

I started with an AMD 4850e WHS v1 in 2008 and recently turned that box into a WHS 2011. The Dual core cpu was getting a little old and I have since built a Intel e5200 based HTPC for the living room. With windows 8 and server 8 in the 'near' future, I decided it was probably time to upgrade the old server to some more modern hardware. Here is a list of hardware I have at my disposal to build 4 machines (1 server, plus 2 HTPCs plus my laptop hard drive)

 

Please help me plan my builds or make any suggestions you may have!

 

C2Q Q9300 6MB cache (Xeon X3320 equivalent)

8GB DDR3

 

2TB Seagate Barracuda XT 64MB Cache

2TB WD EARS Green Drive 64MB Cache

1TB WD EADS Green Drive 32MB Cache

1.5TB WD EADS Green Drive 32 MD Cache

320GB WD Black 7200k Laptop Drive 16MB Cache

64GB SuperTalent SSD with TRIM Support

 

AMD 4850e Dual Core CPU with AMD-V

4GB DDR2

 

Intel e5200 Dual Core CPU (No virtualization)

4GB DDR2

 

All MB's have integrated Gigabit LAN

HDHOMERUN PRIME :D with FiOS (all content copy freely)

1 PCI Intel Gigabit LAN Card

 

I love WHS and have enjoyed having remote access to my PC's and the ease of having a remote website I can have. I also have not found a better bare metal backup solution for the home. Single instance storage is just great. The number of addins for WHS v1 is hard to beat, but I absolutely love having server backup on WHS 2011 (just knowing that u can restore to a backup created earlier in the day if something goes haywire in the server OS is almost priceless).

 

So here is my plan as of now:

 

SERVER

Q9300 with 8GB DDR3 running Server 2008R2 (as opposed to standalone Hyper-V for ease of management and snapshots). I would install this host OS on the Barracuda XT (what partition size would be best? or should I just create the whole disk as one partition?) All of the rest of that drive would be used for VHDs for the VM's. This way I can have Server 2008R2 backup to a 2TB drive (possibly 2TB WD EARS Green drive).

 

WHS v1 on 65GB VHD (50GB C:/, 15GB D:/) with 1.5TB WD Green Drive passed through as SCSI Disk

 

The point of this machine is to be able to use some of the WHS v1 addins (hopefully one to encode video files to lower bitrate files from Blu ray disks and DVDs). I am not sure if i'll run the remote website from this VM because I won't have server backup in case something goes haywire with my Gallery Server Pro Photo galleries) Question: will taking snapshots of v1 provide a 'server backup' type feature? (I know i would have to plus any pass-through disks offline in order to do this. I am just wondering if that would actually cause problems. I am keeping the OS drive small to keep data off the D drive in the VHD, but I am uncertain if that reliable enough to perform a restore with confidence).

 

WHS 2011 on (?? VHD size)

 

The point of this machine would be to have the remote website on a system with server backup.

 

WIndows 7 on (120GB VHD)

 

To do WMC recordings and to have an always on system for torrents that's separate from the server OS to potentially ward off viruses. Possibly used for DVD or Blu ray encoding.

 

PfSense or Untangled on (?? VHD size)

 

To do QOS management and possibly reduce popups and viruses. (i'm not too sure on this one yet. Would the integrated + extra LAN card be enough for this?)

 

Various other VM's

 

For testing and learning of Active Directory, windows 8, and server 8. These will be only turned on when in use.

 

Main HTPC

 

Intel e5200

4GB DDR2

320GB WD Black Laptop Drive with 16MB cache (partitioned 60GB OS, Remaining GBs for data)

 

 

Bedroom HTPC

 

AMD 4850e

4GB DDR2

1TB WD EADS Green Drive (partition 100GB OS, Remaining GBs for data)

 

Laptop

 

64GB SSD Drive

 

Additional Questions:

 

Would I achieve better performance by running WHS v1 in a 1TB VHD on the host OS drive? I don't think so, but i'm pretty sure encompassing the whole system on one VHD would achieve my beloved 'server backup' equivalent by using a snapshot of that whole system.

 

I read a thread where a DVD drive could not be passed through to a VM in hyper V for disc encoding. Is that true? If so, could I share the Blu ray drive in my Main HTPC over the network and have it seen by the VM's?

 

Does anyone know of any addins or programs for utilizing the processing power of the server for DVD and blur ray encoding? I know opinions on this may vary, but what works best for you? I am also hoping to find a way to encode WMC recordings to reduce the 1Gb per 10 minute recordings.

 

 

Whew....still with me? As you can see, there's been a lot on on my lately with trying to plan the best way to setup this setup. If nothing else, consider this my Intro to the forums. B) The forums look great here and I'm looking forward to staying involved as I move forward with this project. Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Here is my two cents:

 

Server sounds good if you already have the hardware. If your buying, consider a 2500/2600 (non K). Also consider more RAM for best use of VM.

 

V1 VM - I would not really bother as there is nothing you listed that can not be done just as good on 2011.

 

WHS 2011 - Unless you do the hack, you will have to do the 160 gig. I would use the pass through from the planned V1 on this instead for the client backups.

 

Either pfsense or Untangle do not require very large drives 20G is the min but I would setup about 40G

 

 

You can passs through a DVD drive however there are some issues with BD drives. TImes kill did a nice post on this forrum about it.

 

There are lots of programs that use the processor but what kind of encoding are you talking about? Are you trying to transcode on the fly for streaming or actually go to an entire other format such as encoding MP4's. Welcome to the forums and good luck with this build.

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I'm not one of those experts but I play one on a podcast! A couple of things jumped out at me. RAM for one. Will your motherboard support anything beyond the 8GB? From the looks of all those VM's I would recommend as much as you can stick in it.

 

One NIC? Wodysweb once told me to stick in as many NIC's as you have PCI slots for your individual VM's. Hopefully he will see this post.

 

Would there be anything to gain by mirroring the main OS drive? I think I would feel better if it were my build.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. The max my MB can support is 8GB, unfortunately. I'm pretty sure Hyper-V has dynamic memory allocation. Does anyone who has run Hyper-V have any input on that? I read somewhere that for some strange reason it doesn't work with WHS 2011, but i'm assuming it works with V1, Win7 and porbably pfsense/untangled. Additionally, does anyone know the RAM usage of using standalone Hyper-V vs 2008r2 + the role?

 

I only have the PCI Intel NIC card and onboard Atheros NIC right now. If only one or two users are using the VM's at any one time will that likely still be an issue?

 

 

Here is my two cents:

 

Server sounds good if you already have the hardware. If your buying, consider a 2500/2600 (non K). Also consider more RAM for best use of VM.

 

V1 VM - I would not really bother as there is nothing you listed that can not be done just as good on 2011.

 

WHS 2011 - Unless you do the hack, you will have to do the 160 gig. I would use the pass through from the planned V1 on this instead for the client backups.

 

Either pfsense or Untangle do not require very large drives 20G is the min but I would setup about 40G

 

 

You can passs through a DVD drive however there are some issues with BD drives. TImes kill did a nice post on this forrum about it.

 

There are lots of programs that use the processor but what kind of encoding are you talking about? Are you trying to transcode on the fly for streaming or actually go to an entire other format such as encoding MP4's. Welcome to the forums and good luck with this build.

 

Thanks for the reply. Why would u suggest using passthrough for specifically the client backups in 2011? I'm curious as to why that specifically? If I do that should I avoid putting the other folders on that drive?

 

I will look up the post on BR drives. Thanks. I'm looking for encoding to a format such as MP4, H.264, or MKV. Also I hope to find an automatic way to encode the .wtv files from WMC.

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Hey you didnt waste anytime jumping in after our chat in chat, very cool :ph34r:

 

i run 20011 in a VM and will be moving my V1 into a VM for DA manager (archound) mControl came out with V3 for R2 and 2011 a week ago yahoo

 

Ok what i might do:

 

 

SERVER

Q9300 with 8GB DDR3 running Server 2008R2

 

Great for the Host and a couple VM's

 

WHS v1 on 65GB VHD (50GB C:/, 15GB D:/) with 1.5TB WD Green Drive passed through as SCSI Disk

 

Great for any legacy, LOL V1 stuff ( no snapshots if you pass it thru )

 

WHS 2011 on (?? VHD size)

 

The defualt 160 partition is easiest , go with it ( now do a pass-through to a to a well thought out storage system (i.e raid 5,6,10,100 and a backup))

 

PfSense or Untangled on (?? VHD size)

 

Go dedicated machine,, hyper V doesnt like untangle, (no mouse no workie)

 

automatic way to encode the .wtv files from WMC

 

why? read thru my setup: media center comments are about the middle http://homeserversho...__fromsearch__1

 

 

My only fear is you are not leaving yourself room to grow on that MB

 

Was i right ? everyone here really wants to help

 

 

Welcome

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One question I still have is if I should partition the drive containing the Host OS. I've read somewhere that partitioning the first 10% or so of a disk creates a faster partition because it locks that initial partition into the outer edge of the drive. Based on that, I'm thinking it would be a good idea to create the C:/ drive as a 200GB partition on my 2TB XT drive. Is it different when running a VT server? Maybe that's not as important because not much is run from the host OS...but on that note, if I enable active directory on the host then it's still might be a good idea for performance.

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Yes that is true, but i would focus on mirroring it more than partition speed for the HOST,

 

 

 

for kicks:

if you cant resist then do a raid 10 for the HOST with 4 500GB 6.0 drives

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One question I still have is if I should partition the drive containing the Host OS. I've read somewhere that partitioning the first 10% or so of a disk creates a faster partition because it locks that initial partition into the outer edge of the drive. Based on that, I'm thinking it would be a good idea to create the C:/ drive as a 200GB partition on my 2TB XT drive. Is it different when running a VT server? Maybe that's not as important because not much is run from the host OS...but on that note, if I enable active directory on the host then it's still might be a good idea for performance.

Hmmm, I wonder if drive manufacturers have changed their strategy over the years. I do know that, for many years, hard drives were partitioned from the center to the edge. IOW, the MBR was located right near the hub of the platters, not near the outer edge.

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Hmmm, I wonder if drive manufacturers have changed their strategy over the years. I do know that, for many years, hard drives were partitioned from the center to the edge. IOW, the MBR was located right near the hub of the platters, not near the outer edge.

 

 

ya, i was more fixated on mirring being of more importance, so i missed that (inside to out)

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