Setting up my new dual cpu home server

inquam

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Jan 29, 2017
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Hi

Not sure if this is the best place of the forum to post this in. Feel free to move it if it fits better in another section.

This might be a bit long but stay with me :)

I have had a home server of some sort running for many years. Started out with different Linux distributions about 15 years ago, then had a Windows Home Server and liked the drive pooling etc of it. But storage grew and space ran out in the enclosure I had. So built a new on and decided to go back to Linux. I ran Amahi for a while and even contributed making apps for it. But the slow release cycle and issues updating apps made me start to run more and more stuff "outside" of Amahi.

Updating the Linux core and installing some applications conflicted with the Amahi packages and I decided to ditch Amahi and installed Ubuntu server. I had been using Greyhole on Amahi and set that up and ran that on Ubuntu to.
I set up Samba to act as a domain controller for my home and that has been running now for the last five years or so. With time it also came to run Plex, Sickbeard, Couchpotato, sabnzbd+ etc.

This is running on a X5460 in a modded P5QL-E with 8GB ram. Two 1TB drives in sw Raid1 holds the system and 6x2TB are for storage of files.

I now bought a S2600CP2J, two e5 2670 CPUs and 64GB Ram.

Now I'm pondering how I should set this all up. I want to run a Windows server as the domain controller, to get rid of the specifics of having samba handle it. So I'm thinking of running a Windows server as a VM.
Should I migrate my current setup and install KVM to run the Windows server and other thigs I come up with (like development servers etc) or would it be better to install a very light weight vm server (esxi, small Linux install with KVM or similar), and then setup the kind of setup my current server runs in a VM on top of that, a Windows server as a second VM etc? Greyhole will be ditched and I'm looking into mergerfs and Snapraid. I want the option to easily add new drives but not loose all the pictures of the kids if a drive fail.
I'm looking into buying an external JBOD enclosure with 10x3TB disks to connect to the server to expand storage.

Any input into the "right" way to setup my new home server would be highly appreciated.
 
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Patrick

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What are you thinking about running everything in VMs versus on metal?

I might run ESXi or something like CentOS/ Ubuntu as a base OS then just start putting applications in VMs. With CentOS or Ubuntu you could do KVM + Docker without having to run Docker in a VM.

I may have said Proxmox but it does not sound like you want ZFS/ Ceph/ Cluster.

From the sound of it I would do KVM + Docker as a start.
 

inquam

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Im leaning towards Ubuntu as a base. How much should I put on the base OS of what I'm already running today? Should I let the base OS handle plex etc or just act as a VM host and setup a VM to handle plex, sickbeard etc?
 

Patrick

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Lately I have been doing KVM/ Docker host as the base. Then put applications in either VMs or Docker.

Storage depends a bit on the setup but I have been doing that at the Ubuntu base OS level.
 
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inquam

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Jan 29, 2017
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I have only read a little about Docker and perceive them as "light weight vm's"? Then storage is done outside of the dock somehow?
What would the overhead be if running plex, sickbeard, sabnzbd, couch potato in their own docker instances instead of in a single vm or on the host OS?

If I would have docker instances for all these apps, do they all use the same file system? Or how do you move things between them? Like moving a downloaded movie to the plex library.
 
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Patrick

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Apologies, I am on a mountain going up a chairlift so probably cannot do a thorough Docker overview on my phone.

There is a TON of documentation on Docker out there. It is less of a VM and more of a way to run isolated services. CPU overhead is next to nothing and lower storage requirements. If you use Ubuntu it is very well documented.
 

inquam

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Jan 29, 2017
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Ahhh Thanx m8 ;). Guess it would make little sense to move plex and already running things into docker then if they basically run on the host OS in a docker container to.

Not sure why but I was under the impression as little as possible should run on the host OS in order to keep any virtual guest OS's as snappy as possible.
But might not be an issue with the usage of a single family and this type of hard ware.
 

ttabbal

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It's not so much for performance, it's more to separate out services so that issues in one are less likely to break everything. It also makes it easier to migrate services to other machines later. Or if you need to turn one off, you don't risk issues with the whole thing, just stop one container/VM.