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Hyper-V + N54L and more...


tswalker
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I'm considering getting a few things to move my N54L over to a Hyper-V Server. I'll be burning the BIOS-MOD on it (thanks to HP >.< ), increasing the RAM to 16GB, and putting a few WD RE drives in it.

 

I noticed this thing has a built-in Type A USB port (usb 2.0?), I'm guessing with the right USB key, I could load Hyper-V Server up on it?. Is anyone doing this or is it horribly slow?

 

What I would ultimately like to do is get down to core on the metal, and VM everything to make things easier to move around (or lab). This way, "if" I do have some failure, I may be able to spin up something, and get working again with minimized down time. I know I'll have at least 4 VMs with separated services:

 

1 - 2012 R2: Essentials (yep, I started really liking the possibilities there and want it)

2 - 2012 R2: AD DS, DNS (backup controller for primary, which I guess the essentials node would do)

3 - 2012 R2: SQL 2013, TFS 2014, IIS (not so sure about a SharePoint node with that yet)

4 - Pfsense: Firewall, Squid + Proxy cache

 

 

and will then have perhaps two or three (3) more VMs that I can spin up as needed. I'm interested in working with CentOS (and other flavors) to do some Git repository examples, and could really use something... figuring that with the right modifications, I may be able to really utilize this N54L to full potential.

 

When I first bought the N54L, I immediately put two dual Gb/NICs in, loaded pfsense and it has ran.. practically non-stop for over a year now. Unfortuantely, I never gave it a second thought... nor did I download any of the update for it from HP. (which was dumb). Regardless, I realized that the CPU is so under-utilized, I may have a second life for it.

 

Am I asking too much of this thing? I still have the DX4000 running well enough. I could essentially (lol), keep it as "Essentials," take a small load off the N54L, and still keep the plan somewhat in place for backups.

Edited by tswalker
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When I finally read down to where you asked, "Am I asking too much of this thing?" I said to myself, "That's what I was wondering".

 

I know some members have done some pretty amazing things with their MicroServers, but I'm really wondering if this would be too much, particularly the SQL Server. However, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Why not try it and see? Then you could report back for others to learn from.

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SSD for the SQL server, is a good practice (VM on the SSD or directly). 

 

Aside from that, .... well to be honest, I think you may be limited by the CPU here. As well as the RAM. I find that Essentials runs better with ... well more RAM. 8GBs at least, and ideally 16GB.

In this case, running Essentials on the DX4000 I think would be the better idea in the long run.

 

However, as ikon has said, trying it out wouldn't be a bad idea. 

 

as for the pfSense VM, have you considered accepting Sophos into your life?

:P

Depending on how many active devices are are the network, Sophos includes a web filter, and a caching option for it. And it's like a two click installation for it. With a whole bunch of options.

The home license for it's 100% free, but the limit is 50 active devices.

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You can run esxi, Linux or even mac off the USB but windows will not install to it. If you want run a esata to sata cable from the back to an internal ssd can then mount 5 3.5 drives. Run esxi off the USB. Put the OS on the SSD then have the 5 drives for data.

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as for the pfSense VM, have you considered accepting Sophos into your life?

 

hmm, just watched the vimeo demos... I'll be taking a serious look at that, the email encryption and reporting look nice. Reporting in pfsense has been... not good.

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Yup, definitely lots of options for traffic shaping/QoS. It may be a bit complex though. On the plus side, you can add rules for it from the logging section. So they do try to make it easy.

 

On my blog, I do have a couple of posts that talk about the firewall and port forwarding. By default, Sophos only allows traffic on the explicitly allowed ports. Those are the services defined in the installation guide, in fact. 

https://drashna.net/blog/category/networking/

 

I was going to cover the web filtering (squid/cache/Antivirus scanning like) feature next. But that's involved, because I wanted to include instructions on how to use the Windows Server Essentials' CA Cert to reduce complexity for configuration, and to use the full decrypt and scan option for HTTPS.

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well.. I can confirm, that the internal USB port is bootable. Had Hyper-V Server installing (to itself I guess :D ) with the USB/VHD guide (here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj733589.aspx) , but was sit-n-spinning at 66%. I'm not certain why yet. I'll be giving it another go tomorrow. WINPE/RE booted from it with zero issues.

 

BIOS-MOD update was a cake walk.. many thanks for all the articles on it here.

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