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Mixed Purpose Server 2012 and possible HTPC

server2012 virtualisation fx8320 htpc xbmc sharepoint 2013

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#1 nomadic78

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 16:12

Hi all,

 

By day I am a IT PM and I have decided to invest a bit more in my tech skills after completing ITIL, APMP and CISMP recently.

 

I've getting the Microsoft infrastructure software such as Lync, Sharepoint, Exchange, SQL and I bought an FX8320 with 32GB for a base Server 2012 build. On top I want to build some VMs to use this. Primarily interested in BI and Sharepoint.

 

However, I do want to branch out and look at possibly using the box for logmein, dabling in Ubuntu and possibly use as an HTPC. I plan to house the device in my HTPC Silverstone LC20 with a HD6450 card that I already have.

 

From what I can see there is no point doing AMD-V for a HTPC on the server. So besides from running XMBC from a USB, are there any options?

 

Finally, what do you use your Server 2012/2008 for domestically that helps?

 

Cheers

 

 




#2 OP nomadic78

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 16:36

Also thinking of an SSD and upgraded PSU. 840 Series for the SSD, 120GB should be sufficient, what PSU though? Maximum 6 HDs to be run, only a 3TB will be run with the OS on the SSD.

 

Thaks



#3 Aergan

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 19:49

Hi,

 

I have Server 2012 R2 installed on mine (which is an AMD Phenom x4) which runs as a HTPC/Media server/Hyper-V server/RDS Web, Broker & Gateway/Storage server/Logmein/XBMC/Unified Remote.

I use a 60GB OCZ SSD for the OS, 2x3TB 5400RPM in stripe, 2x7200RPM 1.5TB 7200RPM in stripe (where the VM's reside) and a single 1TB 7200RPM for software repository / ISO library / downloads.

I currently use a 650w Coolermax high efficiency (90%+) PSU with an MSI Nvidia GTX 650.

It's located in the study with of HDMI-to-2x29M-CAT5e-to-HDMI to get to the living room TV.

An account is set to auto login to a locked down Media account which XBMC on startup. All our phones can control XBMC via XBMC remote app, my phone can also use Unified remote to have console access over WLAN. I used to run a Media Center IrDA/USB remote but no longer bother.

 

As VM's I run a Server 2012 R2 Std. core (Domain controller, DNS, failover DHCP, backup certificate authority), Server 2012 R2 Sd. (RDS Session host), Debian Linux 7 Server (Hyper-V extensions enabled - planned to be SSH box & mumin script host), Windows 7 x64 (virtual desktop) & Windows 8 x64 (Gen. 2 virtual desktop). I also have a Windows XP machine that I boot up on demand (Not imported into 2012 R2 Hyper-V yet though). Will be trying to get Ubuntu Server 13.10 on soon as I believe that now has native Hyper-V support updated for R2.

 

I do run a stand alone Server 2012 (Domain controller FSMO, DNS, DHCP, certificate authority) on an aging Shuttle XPC in the attic.

 

Case is a Silverstone Grandia GD05

 

Photo attached.

Attached Images

  • WP_000964.jpg


#4 OP nomadic78

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:25

Hi Aergan,

 

Thanks for this.

 

Why do you keep the Shuttle Xpc running standalone? The kit I have in the HTPC shell currently is a Athon 2 AMD3 CPU with 4GB of ram. I will be taking that out along with the 380W PSU. I had planned making that a possible HTPC client, but maybe an idea to do it as another standalone server. I do want to play around with doing object migrations between forests and was going to do that within a VM.

 

I suppose the aging box is more secure as you have far less running on it?



#5 InsaneNutter

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 20:38

You could run VMware Esxi and a Virtual Machine dedicated for media playback. With ESXi you can pass real hardware through to a virtual machine, so you could pass a PCI-E graphics card through to a VM and have it hooked up to the TV running XBMC, or pass a TV tuner though and record TV with Windows Media Center. Of course you can still run all other Virtual Machines, so Server 2012 can be run in another VM.

 

I have an ESXi box running my network at the moment, a VM does my router / firewall, I then have another for VPN, my UT 2004 in another VM and finally a Windows Server 2012 VM with a raid controller passed through to it currently sharing 4x 4TB drives on my network. I'm pretty new to ESXi, however i like been able to do so much with a single computer. I also have other VM's for learning and testing.

 

I'll have to try passing the onboard Intel HD 4000 graphics through to a VM and seeing how well that goes sometime.



#6 FreeJAC1310

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 21:29

I'm using Server 2012 R2 Essentials but using it all on the back end. I use Xbox 360 as the front end. My PVR-PC recording TV is stand alone using storage spaces on Windows 8.1 / Media Center. I use the Media Center extender for watching recorded TV and the DLNA Media Server built in to Essentials for hosting .MP4 rips of my TV and Movie DVDs. The system player Xbox App can play those back no problem.

 

I am using XenServer as the Hypervisor. I found the stand-alone of Hyper-V too painful especially just simply trying to connect to a simple file share where I hosted my ISOs. 



#7 The_Observer

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 21:53

Have Server 2012r2 running on my server, with plex for my tvs/rasplex and iPads. Have 3 vms atm all server2012r2 for downloads, media updates. Looking at linking them all together for AD. Planning vms for Ubuntu13 and Windows 7, once i get my RAID10 setup for VMs only. OS is on a Intel 80Gig SSD.



#8 chrisj1968

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 22:10

You could run VMware Esxi and a Virtual Machine dedicated for media playback. With ESXi you can pass real hardware through to a virtual machine, so you could pass a PCI-E graphics card through to a VM and have it hooked up to the TV running XBMC, or pass a TV tuner though and record TV with Windows Media Center. Of course you can still run all other Virtual Machines, so Server 2012 can be run in another VM.

 

I have an ESXi box running my network at the moment, a VM does my router / firewall, I then have another for VPN, my UT 2004 in another VM and finally a Windows Server 2012 VM with a raid controller passed through to it currently sharing 4x 4TB drives on my network. I'm pretty new to ESXi, however i like been able to do so much with a single computer. I also have other VM's for learning and testing.

 

I'll have to try passing the onboard Intel HD 4000 graphics through to a VM and seeing how well that goes sometime.

 

he has several different OS'es (Aergen) so you run ALL OSes on VM at one time correct? I'm not well versed with VM's but seems really cool.



#9 InsaneNutter

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 23:16

he has several different OS'es (Aergen) so you run ALL OSes on VM at one time correct? I'm not well versed with VM's but seems really cool.


Yes, think of ESXi as been your Virtual Machine server, in very basic terms ESXi is a very lightweight operating system / hypervisor you install on to the computer you wish to run Virtual Machines on. You can then remotely manage your virtual server from another computer on your network. From here you can create Virtual Machines and Virtual Switches. You can essentially have a virtual test lab / network, capable of running many operating systems all from your virtual machine server. You can give hardware from the server e.g. a RAID controller or graphics card to a virtual machine, so for example you could have a NAS, Router, Game Server and various versions of Windows all running from this one server. 
 
Below is a screenshot of my ESXi server setup. It's running on one PC hidden away in a cupboard. As you can see i have multiple Virtual Machines running at the same time. You can see the CPU / memory usage and manage just about everything you can think of, such as creating virtual switches and assigning resources easily from the management interface.

 

 
2aju8gp.jpg
 
If you want to know any more just ask and ill try help, i am pretty new and still learning myself however. I do wish I had set something like this up years ago! I have some many things i want to learn and test when i have the time :)



#10 chrisj1968

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 23:52

can use use the ESXi to run a network storage device? my wife uses windows 7, I use 8.1, my daughter has a surfaceRT and my son has a athlon 64 circa 2004, running windows 7. would like to create a system whereby we aech get X amount of data storage.

 

hmm actually to think of it, the storage device would simply connect to my current network. but a server would be cool running VM



#11 InsaneNutter

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:35

Yes you have the freedom to do what ever you like, you could run FreeNas, that's very popular for network storage. You can also use Windows Server which is what i use for storage and to backup all the other computers on the network too. You can obviously set share permissions for different users.
 
As you can see my Windows Server Virtual Machine has a raid controller passed to it and has access to real hard drives, i use it for more than just storage, all my media is shared for access by anyone on the network. In addition i have Plex installed which can transcode media and steam to mobile devices over the internet. I have have my media library shared with friends so they can watch at home too.
 
2wm3ses.jpg

The above is basically what my old home server did, however now with ESXi i have the freedom to do a lot more as i explained in the previous post. So far i've been very impressed, its certainly a setup I would recommend to anyone who likes to tinker and experiment.

#12 FreeJAC1310

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 22:01

I have a similar setup. Using XenServer as my hypervisor instead of ESXi. 6.2 does not officially support 8.1 / 2012R2 as of yet still waiting for a patch. :(

I would recommend ESXi or XenServer over Hyper-V stand alone any day! Hyper-V seems to want you to have all the System Center bits up and running to use it properly. XenServer makes a nice SOHO / lab solution.