Windows Server 2012 R2 returning to The GodBoxV2

Posted on 23 August 2015.

After a few months of running Sabayon Linux on the GodboxV2, i am going back to Windows Server. Back around October of last year, i installed Windows 10 Preview on the GodBoxV2, and, well, there where issues with graphics drivers, etc. Then, some time after, i cant remember off hand when, i moved to Sabayon Linux. Its based on Gentoo but has a lot of the components pre-built. Gentoo is a “Build from scratch” sort of OS. You get a basic kernel and a basic set of compoents, but you build everything else from scratch… including rebuilding the kernel if you want. Sabayon, on the other hand has all that mostly prebuilt, though you can still use Gentoo’s Portage to build stuff yourself.

Anyway, for the last few months, all was going mostly well… but I miss Windows. And, given i have pretty much always ran a server OS on my main workstations, I am heading back to Server 2012R2. I was tempted by 2016, but its still very early days… Maybe i will run it as a VM for a while, but we will see…

ZFS Home storage pool

Posted on 10 August 2015.

Over the weekend, my BTRFS pool for my /home directory on Linux failed… Not sure what happened, but it made me do something i wanted to do for a while: Build a ZFS pool for my home dir.

First things first, the pool consists of 4 2Tb hard drives and 1 128Gb SSD. Its setup in RAIDZ1 (equivilent of RAID 5) and then the SSD is set for caching.

To create the pool i ran

zpool create home raidz sda sde sdf sdg

then, to add the cache drive

zpool add home cache sdd

the pool (in my case) got mounted to /home, and then i restored my backup to it. to do some tests, i can the following…

614MB/s write and 5.3GB a second read is nothing to be sniffed at! :)

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter PoE in the lab

Posted on 05 August 2015.

Today, my Ubiquiti EdgeRouter POE arrived in the house. I got it hooked up to both UPC connections (as secondary connections) and all seems to be working grand. Some notes i wanted to put up here:

  • out of the box, the install was quite simple. set my ethernet connection to a static ip in the 192.168.1.x/24 range, using 192.168.1.1 as gateway and dns, and then point at http://192.168.1.1 for admin. login (ubit for both username and password) and heay presto. I was asked did i agree to the license, and then im in.
  • by default, NAT is off… i turned it on, and enabled DNS and was able to surf.
  • I also noticed the software was out of date… Oddly, there did not seem to be an option to update automatically, but you can manually download the tar and upload it, which i did.
  • so far, so good… not sure yet if i will be using it as my main router, but it may end up being a VoIP router.

Finally, speed test result below:

Speed Test Result

More Ubiquiti stuff arriving tomorrow… will post more stuff then.

Network and HomeLab V.Next (Part 3)

Posted on 16 July 2015.

So, this part of my article set will be talking specifically about the router and wireless network. At the moment, my router is way overkill:

  • Old HP Proliant ML110 G5
  • Intel Core2Quad Q6600
  • 8 Gb RAM
  • total of 12 Gigabit network cards (of which 4 are currently used…)
  • 500Gb HDD

I have been playing with some networking in the house and have managed to build some VLANs. The modems are connected both directly to the Router and to a dedicated switch port for a given VLAN. The plan for the upgrade, which i hope to complete sooner than the rest of the network is as follows:

  • get the ML110 running ESXi and virtualize PFSense. Give it 2gb of RAM and some processor.
  • take some of the network cards out of the box. It does not need 12 ports, but maybe leave the 2 quad ports in there. They should be connected to the main switch trunked. 8 may be overkill, but i never do things by half.
  • the PFSEnse VM should be connected to all 3 WAN VlANs (900, 901 and 902) and should also have at least one port to the LAN. There may also be other ports for other internal VLANs.

with the spare processor, i can then add other (small) VMs to this machine.

Network and HomeLab V.Next (Part 2)

Posted on 23 June 2015.

So, in my last post i talked about the requirements for the home lab, and in this post, im going to talk about a few more updates i have made in the last few weeks.

First, the processors: in the first post, i talked about Xeon D or Xeon E3… Well, i missed one… The Xeon E5. I have 2 of these in GodBox 2, and you can get them into a microATX board. There does seem to be some limits with the microatx boards, but hopefully enough searching will find me what i am looking for. Ideally, i want it to take “normal” DDR3/4 memory (not SODIMMs like the ASRock one above) and also take enough of them to run 64 or 128Gb of ram (thinking 8 would do the job!). Also, i would like to have 4 GigE ports onboard and 1 management port. 4 onboard is not a hard requirement: If i can get one with 2 ports, i can always get a 4 port card for the PCI-Express slot… Finally, i would like it to have at least 6 SATA ports and possibly an MSATA port. Thinking Boot off MSATA (Windows Server 2016 Nano Server would be used), 2 SSDs and 4 HDDs. Using Storage Spaces, use the 2 SSDs as “Fast” storage for the pool.

I also think i moved off the idea of 10Gb. I like the idea of it, but given a small 10Gb switch costs upwards of a grand, and the plan is to build a machine for that price, i would prefer a fifth machine and using my existing Cisco 48 port switch and leave 10Gb as a future upgrade.

Also, changed from last time round is machine count. Originally i was saying 3-4 machines… now i am thinking 6-7… 5-6 of them should be Hyper-V boxes and the last one would be a Media Box.

I also think the Synology or SAN requirement is out… Hyper-V can be setup to do replication between hosts, and with a 4Gb link to the LAN, i think i should be ok. Also, if i have the media box separate, i should be ok there too. I will detail the media centre in a later post.

So, any suggestions or thoughts on what should and shouldn’t be looked at?

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Tiernan OToole
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