My friend Erik Mikula death…for a while really took the wind out of my IT sails. I have the server i ordered right before Erik died….and’s been a painful reminder of his sudden removal from this world. I finally came to realize Erik would not want me to simply stop and not do what i am good at, and what I love to do. So i decided i would take the rack server that I still have in it’s box and figure out something to do with it…time for rack rebuild and repurpose 4.0…
VmWare and hyper-v are the dominant commercial hypervisors..but i intend to change that. My next research project is going to be extending my home rack purpose for the dedicated purpose of hypervisor trials and research.  Well my first way i wanted to do my new virtualization lab didn’t come into being as i could not find anything to make it work. So in addition to that machine I have a new virtualization host inbound. Soon i will have a three server rack again…that will be a majority of NON-Dell machines. Why non Dell? The chip shortage has decimated the used market, just like the new market. Folks are either hanging onto their current hardware longer and the good quality name brand used gear is going like hotcakes and/or for crazy prices. I saw a video on the YouTube channel Craft Computing where he got one of the long servers and also has a stack of the new inbound server. He uses the servers i have just ordered as..a virtualization stack. The reviews are pretty here’s what’s going on:
The R520 stays(for now) as my primary file server. It will continue to run TrueNAS core. If the Hyve servers work out well..then I could build myself a disk shelf and use one of the Hyve machines as the TrueNAS Core front end with the disk shelf as the storage for said machine..
The Chenbro nr12000 machine(the one i bought for Eric’s business he was starting) is going to be my new backup server. It doesn’t hold enough ram for it to be a primary TrueNAS Core box. It will still run TrueNAS core though. This bad girl had 12 3.5 bays and i intend to stuff it full of 8TB hard drives..
The virtualization host is now inbound and it will be my virtualization host:
I customized this a bit though. it will have two Xeon e5-2650v2 cpus in it. otherwise it’s all the same as the above link. If this machine works well I will order two more so i can research 3 hypervisors at the same time. i will also get 3 pairs of the L series of these cpus for power savings.
A pure virtualization host doesn’t need tons of local storage(at least not in my configuration). I am going to have several ssd’s inside of it that i can switch as i test and try various hypervisors like hyper-v(which i already know quite well), ProxMox, XCP-NG(i am REALLY curious about his one), and some BSD derivatives. I really want to have my entire back end BSD..but not sure if i will be able to pull that off any time soon due to BSD hypervisor not being as mature as the others…but I intend to research this extensively. If this machine works well I will order two more so i can research 3 hypervisors at the same time.
The UDMP and the phones are going to be removed and donated to my church. i am going back to PF/OPNSense…just not sure which one yet..
All in all..once i get done the rack is going to look radically different as there will be one piece of Dell equipment inside the rack. It’s going to be fun learning new things on a new hardware stack from a few new vendors..