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riahc3

N54L or Gen8?

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riahc3

Ive been driving myself crazy for a month or two...

 

I had a Gen8 but I had a fan issue and instead of exchanging it, I got a complete refund for it. I didnt reorder it because I started to think about the N54L...

 

The microserver is going to (via ESXi):

 

WS2012R2 (DNS, DHCP, NAS, etc)

pfSense (Firewall and PPPoE client)

 

The WS2012R2 will have StableBit DrivePool to setup some storage pools and divide 4 disks of 3TB into my personal space and two other family members so when they log on they will have their own personal space and will also load profiles, settings, etc from it. So in a sense, it will also act as a NAS to stream to them and to media device thru my home.

 

I want a additional HDD (even if 2.5") acting as my system drive to store the VMs.

 

If I go the Gen8 route, Ill have to buy a additional 2.5" HDD, the bracket, and the power cable and I think thats it. Maybe a fan as well if the noise issue reappears.

If I go the Gen7 route, Ill have to buy a network card for pfSense. Same thing as above for noise.

 

For both, Ill problably buy a 4GB USB 3.0 drive to install ESXi on.

 

What should I do?

 

Thanks and sorry for driving everyone crazy.

Edited by riahc3

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GavinCampbell

I recommend putting the VM's on a SSD if possible.  PFSense probably won't benefit from it much but I currently run my WHS on one and I love speed.

 

As for the storage, I dabbled on ESXI a while back and had problems passing through the drives to the VM.  I think you may need an extra card to do that.  But I am not exactly sure.  You may want to wait on one of the ESXi pro's here to discuss that.

 

I'm more curious in the responses to this you may get as well.

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LoneWolf

Personally, I'm a fan of running Pfsense or its alternatives on a single, cheap, dedicated physical box that you can stick a couple of Intel NICs in.  It doesn't require a ton of CPU, and you can reuse just about anything going back to the Bronze age.  It will also guarantee uptime that way, because it's a box you'll not be rebooting it if you reboot your Microserver.  In my opinion, some boxes should stay physical, and routers/firewalls are in that category.  Heck, there's some dual-core Atom mini-boxes with dual-NICs that will run Pfsense perfect, or just an entry single-core Core2-based Celeron would be fine (you could go older, but your power costs go up).

 

If you're able to do that, the N54L makes a great single-OS box.  I've actually kicked around the idea of taking my N54L and going back to it as my Server 2012R2 standard box doing what my Gen8 is doing now as a single-role server, because my Gen8 will prove to be just that much better a performer for hypervisor testing.  For now though, that's a lot of work, and I'm not constantly running multiple VMs, so the N54L serves as a good lab-box for testing hypervisors with 2 VMs at a time (especially if I'm testing a server-client VM setup to do group policies, and so I can test performance and configuration of the hypervisors and management themselves, which works great).

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Jason

I am looking to create a second file server for backing up local data. Have an old AMD X2 4850e dual core 64 bit box with 4 GB RAM. Was thinking of throwing WS2012 R2 Std on it mainly for stability. If I do this, I can manage it from the WSE12R2 server manager, correct?

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ikon

I'm with LoneWolf on the UTM/router. I run mine on its own box. I don't need the hassles of keeping it in a VM.

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LoneWolf

I am looking to create a second file server for backing up local data. Have an old AMD X2 4850e dual core 64 bit box with 4 GB RAM. Was thinking of throwing WS2012 R2 Std on it mainly for stability. If I do this, I can manage it from the WSE12R2 server manager, correct?

 

A question like this should probably be asked as part of its own thread, since it's going away from the original topic.  But I believe you are correct.  You could also use Win8.1 with the RSAT tools to manage both servers.

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riahc3

Well, I know people running this setup just fine :) so Im gonna stay with the configuration.

 

BTW, if there is something else out there besides the N54L or the Gen8 that might be intresting....mention it. Ive read about the T20 but IDK.

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Jason

I'm with LoneWolf on the UTM/router. I run mine on its own box. I don't need the hassles of keeping it in a VM.

I agree with ikon on this. Dedicated hardware for UTM/router on a dedicated UPS alongside the cable modem.

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LoneWolf

Well, I know people running this setup just fine :) so Im gonna stay with the configuration.

 

BTW, if there is something else out there besides the N54L or the Gen8 that might be intresting....mention it. Ive read about the T20 but IDK.

 

I know people who have eaten twenty hot dogs in a sitting just fine.  Doesn't mean I'd do it.

 

There's a reason you make certain tasks dedicated tasks.  To not do so in the case of a firewall(UTM)/router device completely violates best practice.  This isn't something I made up, any sysadmin worth their pay could tell you this.

 

I'm a big fan of virtualization in the right scenario.  While it's completely your choice, industry practice clearly indicates this isn't one of those scenarios, especially when you can get a cheap box like this with Dual NICs for your UTM:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856205007

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riahc3

I know people who have eaten twenty hot dogs in a sitting just fine.  Doesn't mean I'd do it.

Well, doing it or not doing it is a choice :) Since I know several people with this setup and they have never had a problem, thats why Im gonna do it :)

 

 

There's a reason you make certain tasks dedicated tasks.  To not do so in the case of a firewall(UTM)/router device completely violates best practice.  This isn't something I made up, any sysadmin worth their pay could tell you this.

 

I'm a big fan of virtualization in the right scenario.  While it's completely your choice, industry practice clearly indicates this isn't one of those scenarios, especially when you can get a cheap box like this with Dual NICs for your UTM:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856205007

I understand your logic BTW, dont get me wrong. Its just since Ive seen setups with this working, Im gonna go ahead and do it as well.

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