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What type of CPU power do I need to run Windows OS for HTPC + (2) VM's?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I thought this was the better place to post this VS HTPC sub forum, but I suppose I can move it there if it makes more sense.

What I'm looking to do is run an ITX box with PFSense and Untangler on it inside their each VM, then on the main OS use it as an HTPC.

In a separate box I'm going to have my Raid 5 file server stream to it.

I'd like to have SMB Multichannel function between two Gigabit NIC's on everything, including my desktop.

Here's the hardware I'm currently considering;

HTPC/PFSense/UTM:
A8-3870k (already have one sitting in my drawer)
ASRock A85X
Cheapest 2x4GB I can get
~64-80gb cheap SSD
Some sort of cheap PCI NIC, likely Intel

File Server:
A4-3300
ASRock A85X (has 7 Sata 6Gb/s ports)
Cheapest 2x4GB I can get
6x storage drives
1x ssd boot
Some sort of cheap PCI NIC, same as above


Does my hardware list check out for what I'm trying to do? I've already got the A8-3870k sitting here. I also have access to a good price on a H77N-WiFi which has dual NIC onboard, but that board only has two Sata ports and would require a more expensive Intel processor to keep up with the VM's and HTPC functionality. Or, it would require a Raid card if I were to use it as the file server, and I don't think that's in the budget redface.gif

I'd love if I could use the GIGABYTE GA-C847N-D with the 1.1Ghz Celeron...but I highly doubt that's powerful enough for the VM's, and again it'd require a Raid card if I were to use it as the File Server
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post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hmm, just think I thought of a flaw in the plan...

I believe I'll need a NIC for each function on the Super Router + HTPC, because I don't believe they can share between OS/VM?

So that means I'll need 2 for PFSense, 1 for Untangler, 1 for HTPC. Pushes me to use the H77N-WiFi with a Dual Gigabit NIC, then.
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post #3 of 8
You'll need to have more ram in your HTPC/PFSense/UTM too. The graphics share system memory.
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by fl0w3n View Post

Hmm, just think I thought of a flaw in the plan...

I believe I'll need a NIC for each function on the Super Router + HTPC, because I don't believe they can share between OS/VM?

So that means I'll need 2 for PFSense, 1 for Untangler, 1 for HTPC. Pushes me to use the H77N-WiFi with a Dual Gigabit NIC, then.

You should only need 2 physical NICs. One NIC dedicated to the WAN connection (which will go into the pfSense VM) and one NIC for the LAN.

You will need to create a virtual NIC / network between the pfSense (LAN side) and Untangle VM. Untangle and HTPC should be able to share the LAN NIC.

NIC 1: WAN (pfSense)
Virtual NIC: LAN (pfSense) / Inbound (Untangle)
NIC 2: Outbound (Untangle) / LAN (HTPC)

What OS and VM software are you planning on using?
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfire View Post

You'll need to have more ram in your HTPC/PFSense/UTM too. The graphics share system memory.

8GB should be plenty to run everything. (1GB pfSense, 2GB Untangle, rest for OS/graphics).
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128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS 8 x Toshiba 5TB 
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Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 2 x Dynatron R22 6 x SuperMicro 5K RPM Fans VMWare vSphere 6 
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfire View Post

You'll need to have more ram in your HTPC/PFSense/UTM too. The graphics share system memory.
I was worried about that.

16gb should be enough to be safe, yeah?

The graphics of the 3870k are powerful enough for htpc use I assume?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibesh View Post

You should only need 2 physical NICs. One NIC dedicated to the WAN connection (which will go into the pfSense VM) and one NIC for the LAN.

You will need to create a virtual NIC / network between the pfSense (LAN side) and Untangle VM. Untangle and HTPC should be able to share the LAN NIC.

NIC 1: WAN (pfSense)
Virtual NIC: LAN (pfSense) / Inbound (Untangle)
NIC 2: Outbound (Untangle) / LAN (HTPC)

What OS and VM software are you planning on using?

Awesome, I didn't know I'd be able to create a virtual one that could be shared cross VM.

Well, I plan to run SMB Multichannel with two Gigabit, and that requires SMB 3.0 which is only in Windows 8 and Server 2012, which ever of those two is going to be most friendly to both htpc features and VM features.

So with what you said, I'd actually have two NIC on the LAN (HTPC), for SMB - if I follow correct
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by fl0w3n View Post

I was worried about that.

16gb should be enough to be safe, yeah?

The graphics of the 3870k are powerful enough for htpc use I assume?

Again, 8GB should be more than enough for your purposes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fl0w3n View Post

Awesome, I didn't know I'd be able to create a virtual one that could be shared cross VM.

Well, I plan to run SMB Multichannel with two Gigabit, and that requires SMB 3.0 which is only in Windows 8 and Server 2012, which ever of those two is going to be most friendly to both htpc features and VM features.

So with what you said, I'd actually have two NIC on the LAN (HTPC), for SMB - if I follow correct

Windows 8 would be best for HTPC purposes and you can enable Hyper-V and use that as your hypervisor.

In Hyper-V, use the the Virtual Switch Manager to create an External Switch for the WAN (uncheck allow management operating system to share this network adapter option), create an Internal Switch for pfSense and Untangle, and another External Switch to one of the LAN adapters for Untangle to use for LAN access (make sure allow management operating system to share this network adapter is checked).

Edit: I do not know how well pfSense and Untangle will work with Hyper-V. Might have to use Virtualbox or some other VM software.
Edited by jibesh - 4/2/13 at 10:04pm
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128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS 8 x Toshiba 5TB 
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Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 2 x Dynatron R22 6 x SuperMicro 5K RPM Fans VMWare vSphere 6 
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HP P420 1GB Smart Array Controller 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel S2600CP2J Onboard Graphics 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
2 x Intel AUPSRCBTP VMWare vSphere 6 IPMI Intel 750W PSU 
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CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel Xeon E5-2670 SuperMicro X9DR7-LN4F Onboard Graphics 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS 8 x Toshiba 5TB 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 2 x Dynatron R22 6 x SuperMicro 5K RPM Fans VMWare vSphere 6 
MonitorPowerCaseOther
IPMI SuperMicro 650W PSU SuperMicro CSE-833T-650B Black 3U Rackmount Ser... Intel X520-T2 Dual Port 10GbE Server Adapter 
Other
HP P420 1GB Smart Array Controller 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel S2600CP2J Onboard Graphics 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
2 x Intel AUPSRCBTP VMWare vSphere 6 IPMI Intel 750W PSU 
CaseOtherOther
Intel P4216XXMHGR 4U Server Chassis Intel X520-T2 Dual Port 10GbE Server Adapter HP P420 1GB Smart Array Controller 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670 Intel Xeon E5-2670 SuperMicro X9DR3-F Onboard Graphics 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
128GB (16 x 8GB) 1333MHz ECC Registered DDR3 4 x Micron M500 480GB SSD 4 x Hitachi 450GB 10K SAS Intel 750 400GB NVME SSD 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
2 x Dynatron R22 3 x SuperMicro 5K RPM Fans VMWare vSphere 6 IPMI 
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Looks like I'll be making the jump to Windows 8 then.

Why the edit to state that, did you suddenly recall something that would cause an issue?

This will be my first time running and setting up VMs, and I probably picked a pretty tough one to start :rofl:

What features does Windows Server have that I could use on my file server side? I don't wanna run it simply because it has the word server in it rolleyes.giftongue.gif

What I plan on doing with the file server side is;
Stream the media to my htpc
Have the drives mounted on my desktop to use as storage
Have a simple URL that directs to an index of the files, so I can access or stream them from a browser on the WAN
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