Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Architecture Change

Well since moving into the house I have had a little time to tinker with the home lab setup. I have made some drastic changes, as usual, the most drastic here. I am afraid my ESXi box is going by the way side. Here is the issue we face:

As you can see my ESXi is clearly having a problem with my means of storage. I used to have another box in my lab, the iSCSI Fedora box that I wrote about earlier. This is not feasable as I need that machine for other things, and it is kind of defeating the purpose of having an all-in-one virtualization platform. I have decided to make the switch to Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core with Hyper-V. A tough decision but I am tired of worrying about driver compatability, and I usually do not have to worry about this with Microsoft Operating systems. I have also used the other big two, Xen and ESXi, so I feel I have to be fair, and I might even decide I like this option the best.

Update: things simply are not working with me. I started out by installing a Server Core system, thinking, "a challenge will be nice," and things immediately go sour. I have problems connecting to the remote core system with RSAT, even after enabling winRM and taking all the appropriate steps (setting IP address, host name, etc.) - Microsoft suggests (or perhaps requires is a better word) that you have both the server and the client (in this instance my Windows 7 workstation) joined to a domain. I have no pre-existing domain in my environment. My domain server I have always wanted to virtualize, but since this is structured this way it almost seems like you should always have a MS box over there in the corner running AD/DNS - providing LDAP function essentially; a way to organize and provide central [database-centered] management for your network. (Perhaps I should order another 1U server like my IBM x series 306 for pfSense and run OpenLDAP? Another day...)
My idea was to have a one-box-do-all Virtualization solution. With VMware I am not going to get around this issue until I decide to buy a RAID card, and decent one's are pricy. I uninstalled server core and installed the GUI, and more problems. Active directory probably took 4 hours to install. Then, the server takes 10-12 minutes to start up. All the server has running is DNS and ADDS. This is impossible to manage.

I have pretty much scrapped this idea and decided to take a stab at another hypervisor. Another big one I have heard mentioned with great fervor but less commonly, is KVM and Proxmox has this ability. I am not too familiar with KVM but I have used Proxmox before and it looked interesting. We will see how things work out, such as storage hardware/Realtek NIC ability, etc.

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