suggest the software I need to get this working

gigatexal

I'm here to learn
Nov 25, 2012
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Portland, Oregon
alexandarnarayan.com
So I built a system with the following specs

3930k
64GB ddr 3
lsi sas hba for connecting the jbod enclosure

the thing is I want to do at least the following:

PFSense
OI + NAPP-IT for ZFS with a 32GB SLC X25-e for cache
HTPC VM with gpu passthrough, I've got a ati 5450 for this

My anxiety comes from not knowing what I need ...

The free version of ESXi what happens when the trial runs out?
Will it support the 64GB? What version do I need to do so?
I heard ESXi 5 without any of the patches works for gpu's. Should I go this route? What about the 64GB ram? Isn't there a 32GB limit?

How do I get networking working? Do I need a layer 2 or layer 3 switch to send the routing to the other computers in the network...

Here's the diagram as best I can do it

cable box -> esxi server physical nic -> pfsense vm "red" interface -> data gets scrubbed, filtered, routed, then sent -> pfsense "green" interface -> esx virtual switch? (This is where my understanding breaks down...)

Any help will be appreciated.
 

sboesch

Active Member
Aug 3, 2012
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Columbus, OH
The free version of ESXi will only allow you 32 gb, it used to be only 16!
Make sure that you have multiple network adapters on the host. You will need a minimum of 2 network adapters just to get pfsense working properly.
I have a total of 6 network adpaters in my home ESXi box to make it do what I want.
I have never passed through a GPU to a VM, so I wont be much help with that, I have passed through entire usb controllers on the board as well as network adapters and HBAs.

RED adapter goes to your gateway. Green adapter goes to your switch. You will basically have two separate networks, and depending on how you do it, you will have two or more virtual switches, I have 3 virtual switches, computer network, iscsi network, and gateway.

Licensing for ESXi is not cheap!
 

Mike

Member
May 29, 2012
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For gpu passthrough you may want to look at a different hypervisor, like KVM. I've read a lot more succes stories on it than with vmware and since recently VFIO is in mainline. Also no limitations and a lot more debugging possibilities.
 

Mike

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May 29, 2012
482
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EU
I haven't really bothered with pfsense on KVM as i had some mysterious 4-5% idle cpu usage on the host with SOME BSD guests. You may want to take a look at IPfire, which is based on Linux and very up to date and secure if you ask me.
 

gigatexal

I'm here to learn
Nov 25, 2012
2,766
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Portland, Oregon
alexandarnarayan.com
I haven't really bothered with pfsense on KVM as i had some mysterious 4-5% idle cpu usage on the host with SOME BSD guests. You may want to take a look at IPfire, which is based on Linux and very up to date and secure if you ask me.
Ipfire ill look into that.

I'm passing my GPU to the htpc vm for hw accelerated video and hdmi audio
 
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Mike

Member
May 29, 2012
482
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EU
Hm, what sort of HTPC are you looking to build? You could install XBMC on the host, hell install KVM on the xbmc live cd :cool: