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Planning a multi VM server build in the near future...advice needed.

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The Dark Knight    251

So I plan on building a home server in the near future. This is the kind of stuff I want to run on it. Also listed a few parts that I thought would suit this requirement. Will this be enough?

 

Current: ASUS RT-N56U router, 125 mbps up/down, unmanaged Gigabit switch, 1 additional access point, Raspberry pi 3B+ running Pi-hole.

Here is the hardware currently being used at home. 4 computers, 1 media file server, 2 Kodi boxes, 3 tablets, 6 mobile phones, 2 Amazon Echo's and 2 Raspberry Pi's. I really don't foresee much changing in terms of quantity of devices even in the future. But for future proofing sake, let's say another one dozen internet connected devices.

 

Crucial - will this hardware be capable of pushing Gigabit internet?

 

Server requirements:

 

Windows 10 base, Hyper-Virtualisation: pfSense (or OPNsense), WordPress website hosting, Subsonic / Airsonic music server, Pi-hole, some CCTV monitoring, NextCloud, 1 Linux distro for fooling around, and finally Windows 10 (for testing). All these as VM's in Hyper-V. Also, OpenVPN for connecting from outside. A maximum of 4 users at any given point of time. Mostly just me.

 

Not at all keen on a full Linux setup, as I'm far more comfortable with Windows. Linux based stuff like Pi-hole is fine as it is dead simple to setup.

 

Thought of using an AMD A8 series processor, coupled with a Gigabyte Mini-ITX motherboard, 450W PSU, 16 GB DDR3 or DDR4 RAM, 1 SSD and 1 HDD.

 

Finally, I've read that Intel NIC's are the best supported under pfSense/OPNsense. But due to initial budget constraints (will upgrade later), I will be using the on-board LAN (Realtek) and adding in another TP-Link card. Realistically, what kind of hit can I expect by not using Intel, given my requirements and device count?

 

Look forward to the responses!

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The Dark Knight    251

Nobody? ?

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farmeunit    612

If they're all virtualized, pfSense won't see the NICs, they'll see the virtualized hardware.  Intel NICs are typically better from my experience, but my experience embedded server NICs or add-in cards.  I'm more familiar with VMWare than Hyper-V, so I might be incorrect on how the NICs are handled.  Hopefully someone else will reply.

 

I wouldn't think you would take too much of a hit for a home setup.  You should focus more of disk speed and RAM for a home setup.  

 

You need to look and see if there are any issues for Hyper-V and your NIC of choice, or just how well it's supported by Windows.

 

 

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Mindovermaster    1,524

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The Dark Knight    251
2 hours ago, farmeunit said:

If they're all virtualized, pfSense won't see the NICs, they'll see the virtualized hardware.  Intel NICs are typically better from my experience, but my experience embedded server NICs or add-in cards.  I'm more familiar with VMWare than Hyper-V, so I might be incorrect on how the NICs are handled.  Hopefully someone else will reply.

 

I wouldn't think you would take too much of a hit for a home setup.  You should focus more of disk speed and RAM for a home setup.  

 

You need to look and see if there are any issues for Hyper-V and your NIC of choice, or just how well it's supported by Windows.

 

 

Yes, the NIC's do get virtualised, so pfSense will see the virtual one. But in this case, since the underlying real thing is Realtek or something else, and virtual is Intel, wouldn't performance be according to Realtek? What I mean to say is, although pfSense will see Intel, it will work as Realtek since that is the underlying hardware. I'm not too clear on this point though. Logically it should be like this, but I may be wrong.

 

In my experience, hardware with Windows is far better supported, so I don't really foresee a problem. But I will keep it in mind!

 

Yup, planning on 16GB RAM and a 120GB SSD. The 1TB HDD is mainly for storing the music for the Subsonic server.

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The Dark Knight    251

Forgot to add this in my original post...I'm open to running all this in VirtualBox also.

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BritBronco    78

I am running an old hp p6654y that I upped to 8 gig, put in a gig realteak nic (stupid thing only had 10/100) and a USB 3 card. 128 gig ssd for boot and VMs and 2 2 TB drives for music and data.

The pc is running win 10, and is my media and kodi machine. I am using Virtualbox for 2 linux VMs and am having no problems so far. My main issue is finding a better cheaper video card to replace the old 8600gt, really want something to handle HD video well and pull less watts.

 

The whole thing is working pretty well at the moment and was a good use of the old bits i had on hand.

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sc302    1,571

vmware and hyper-v are very similar in the way they handle multiple nics at least on the individual hypervisor level.  Things get a little more interesting when you get into distributed switches in vmware, I haven't seen a similar thing in hyper-v (but I haven't looked that hard into hyper-v to find it). 

 

I think it may be slow with your hardware you are throwing into it.  But TBH I don't run virtualization on pc hardware with a workstation OS.

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farmeunit    612

I wouldn't use Virtualbox.  Fine for a few machines here and there, but Hyper-V and VMWare both have better management tools.  

 

As @sc302mentioned, it will probably be a little slower on that hardware.  But if it's not that heavily used, it might be fine.

 

 

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The Dark Knight    251
1 hour ago, sc302 said:

vmware and hyper-v are very similar in the way they handle multiple nics at least on the individual hypervisor level.  Things get a little more interesting when you get into distributed switches in vmware, I haven't seen a similar thing in hyper-v (but I haven't looked that hard into hyper-v to find it). 

 

I think it may be slow with your hardware you are throwing into it.  But TBH I don't run virtualization on pc hardware with a workstation OS.

 

12 minutes ago, farmeunit said:

I wouldn't use Virtualbox.  Fine for a few machines here and there, but Hyper-V and VMWare both have better management tools.  

 

As @sc302mentioned, it will probably be a little slower on that hardware.  But if it's not that heavily used, it might be fine.

 

 

Ok, thanks for the inputs! Although the Linux distro and Win 10 are going to be off mostly. What will always be on is pfSense, Pi-hole, WordPress (LAMP, not WAMP), Subsonic and NextCloud. CCTV is distant future.

 

OpenVPN usage is also going to be very light, mainly want it for taking advantage of Pi-hole when not at home.

 

So what is the probable bottleneck, the processor?

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sc302    1,571

Processor and memory may not be enough. 

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The Dark Knight    251

Also, will this hardware be capable of gigabit internet? Right now my plan is 125 Mbps, but I may move to gigabit in a couple of years. Maybe less. Just depends on when the costs come down! ?

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The Dark Knight    251

Wow, 16GB also not enough for this?

 

This is how I had planned to split the RAM:

 

4GB reserved for Windows 10 base

4GB - pf/opn sense

1GB - WordPress

512MB - Subsonic

512MB to 1GB - NextCloud

1GB - Pi-hole (3 million plus filters list)

1GB - Linux distro

2GB - Windows 10

 

This still leaves 1.5 to 2 GB spare.

 

I was a little doubtful about the processor myself, but figured it'll be fine for home use? What then, Ryzen? I really don't want to go with Intel as that increases the cost quite a bit!

 

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sc302    1,571

do you want it to work, or do you want it to be fast enough for you to not notice that it is slow?

 

Those are 2 very different things.

 

Windows seems to work well at 8GB, Windows seems to be a bit slow at 4, for example.  Will it work at 4, yes...will you notice a speed increase at 8, yes.

 

Do you want performance or do you want functionality...what you are going for with your design is functionality, not performance.

 

When you ask, "will it handle 1Gb/s"....While technically yes, your parts will provide the necessary connection for 1Gb/s...will your parts be able to inspect and pass at 1Gb/s, I don't think so.  Functionally, it will work...performance, wise it will suffer.

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The Dark Knight    251

Ok, thanks! Yes, I definitely want performance. Don't want it struggling, especially if I upgrade to gigabit internet! But I'll start with 16GB when I finally build it, and see how it works at home, then take a call. I was also reading up on some other processors, the Ryzen 3 1200 base model is quite a bit superior to the A8, so will go with that instead. ?

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