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[Home Setup] Gaming Server, pfSense, ESXi + vSphere

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Server PLANS:
Running ESXi + vSphere software
pfSense for [Router/Firewall/VPN Server (all internet traffic (including VMs) routed over PIA VPN? WIFI & WIRED]
unRAID OS [Media/Picture Storage/Plex Media/24/7 Torrent Seeding]
ubuntu 14.04 server [DNS Server, Web Server, FTP Server?] for my game servers website(s)
Backups [SyncBackSE to backup unRAID to my backup server and Veeam Free for VM Backups]
Private Game Server(s), one will definently use MySQL Server / Database


here is the catch, I'm completely new to all of this (server stuff) but I want to dive right in....it might be a bit of a project, but I like learning.





Server Requirements:
Running 24/7 (quiet for sure, it will be in a bedroom, small form factor maybe? doesn't have to be though)
Manage server securely through the web, serve media to our main tv (movies) with plex
Would like the server to be a router/firewall/ most of all traffic routed thru PIA (private internet access) for privacy concerns.

CS and/or BF4 Server (haven't decided yet)

Private MMO Server (will utilize mysql server & databases)

both will be running at the same time, hope that is they atleast have 30+ users or more with a goal of expanding / marketing myself. I would like the possibility of atleast 200-300 users on the MMORPG Server but it won't be immediately obviously.



Server hardware? Not even sure where to start....would like to know if all of this is even possible on one home server setup. I would like to do it with a budget in mind, but not even sure where to start, so I will leave that open for now. (no retarded overkill hardware though please lol)

Hope someone can help me out...mainly just need to know if all of this is possible on one machine and what hardware it will take and maybe tips from some experienced people
post #2 of 9
I can't help with sizing, but certainly with the vmware and networking components

When picking your Procs make sure if a dual socket mobo the xeons or w/e have QPIs

At a high level you will want at least three vswitches - WAN, LAN & DMZ

pfsense will have an interface on each of these vswitches. Internet facing will be hosted in the ESX server and can reside on DMZ switch without a physical NIC. WAN will have a physical NIC/NIC port out and vice versa with the LAN

Not sure what your licensing plans are but be aware vsphere licenses scale with CPU count
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archea47 View Post

I can't help with sizing, but certainly with the vmware and networking components

When picking your Procs make sure if a dual socket mobo the xeons or w/e have QPIs

At a high level you will want at least three vswitches - WAN, LAN & DMZ

pfsense will have an interface on each of these vswitches. Internet facing will be hosted in the ESX server and can reside on DMZ switch without a physical NIC. WAN will have a physical NIC/NIC port out and vice versa with the LAN

Not sure what your licensing plans are but be aware vsphere licenses scale with CPU count

yeah my mind just got blown....lol. I know basic networking, not anything about virtual networking yet. I've played with VMs but not on the scale that I'm about to take on. I'm determined to figure it out though.

from what I'm reading ESXi and vSphere are free....the 32GB RAM limitation was lifted. Although I am confused about the 8 vCPU limit....what does that actually mean for me?

Edit: I think from what I'm reading is that is 8 vCPU limit PER VM? I don't think I'll ever need more than that, if I do then I'll probably out grow my home space and have to consider renting a server. Or maybe I'm reading this wrong.


Edit2: I think the only thing I will have to pay for is Private Internet Access, unRAID, and SyncBackSE for my needs, unless I'm under estimating them.
Edited by DefCoN - 9/29/15 at 3:33pm
post #4 of 9
My mind is blown! Haha I had no idea they offer standalone servers for free now. Great for home!

I went through the process and I don't see options for 5.5, just 6. I ... hate ... the WebUI, and the thick client's been pretty heavily deprecated with 6. If I was going to undertake your project, and you'll be administering from Windows, I would personally see if they have the latest 5.5 Update available as well

When searching for hardware, MAKE SURE SOMEONE ELSE HAS IT WORKING! smile.gif I've heard a lot of stories of people trying to install ESXi on their own hardware at home and failing from driver issues. But maybe with enough tinkering you can shim your own drivers in the ISO

Here's the HCL: https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well I know for sure I want atleast 8-10TB usable media storage/and for vms, etc to start out with, also probably want atleast 1 INTEL 730 SSD, 64GB RAM minimum, will be using free operating systems to deploy VMs.

As far as the GPU? Do I need one since I'll be using either Kodi or Plex for my media/movie archive? (Needs mkv compatibility). Probably will use the NVIDIA Shield Pro for the receiver end to be connected to the TV 24/7.(comes with plex installed) My current smart box doesn't handle DLNA very well. 1080p/blue-ray is fine, we don't watch 3D, 4K HD or anything like that (yet).

As far as mobo/proccessor(s)? I'm not sure what is best to handle all of this at once. I don't really need overkill, but I don't want it to be slow either. Nor do I want jet engines in my room, lol.
post #6 of 9
As far as I've looked into (worked) servers, what you have in mind...something quiet to deploy into your bedroom will be quite a headache. One thing's for sure, keep away from rack ones in that case, there's basically no way to keep those jet engines quiet (I'm not too sure about the new ones but the older gen rack ones have little jet engine coolers built in).

Never played around with tower servers, maybe there's a way to swap the coolers around on those. In theory it should be doable. Basically we got 3 towers at work as workhorses but those are all cooled trough copper and HUGE air/water combo coolers on the side (don't know the exact English definition for that cooler) and those servers are not having even half the load you're thinking about.

Also, I see you're thinking about hosting BF4 servers, not too sure how you're going to accomplish that since you'd need a contract with EA to do that and that's not easy to get, at all. CS servers on the other hand, they are not too resource heavy when done trough CMD (depending on Tick of course). I've ran CSS D2_unlimited 32 servers even on VPS before without any problems.
Edited by MadRabbit - 10/14/15 at 12:58am
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AMD
(13 items)
 
Intel
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Home Server
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8350 Asus M5A99FX Pro MSI Radeon R9-280x MSI Radeon R9-280x 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial Ballistics 8GB DDR3 Cruical MX100 128GB SSD Samsung DVD-RW Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 
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Windows 10 Technical Preview Philips 55PFS6909/12 Logitech MX3200 Chieftec 750W 
Mouse
Khaos Limited Edition 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-4200U ACER BA50 AMD HD8750M 4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitor
750GB HDD Windows 10 TP 15,6" 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
AMD Opteron 2373EE AMD Opteron 2373EE Dell Socket Fr5 XGI® Z9s with 32MB DDRII VRAM 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefCoN View Post

Server PLANS:
Running ESXi + vSphere software
pfSense for [Router/Firewall/VPN Server (all internet traffic (including VMs) routed over PIA VPN? WIFI & WIRED]
unRAID OS [Media/Picture Storage/Plex Media/24/7 Torrent Seeding]
ubuntu 14.04 server [DNS Server, Web Server, FTP Server?] for my game servers website(s)
Backups [SyncBackSE to backup unRAID to my backup server and Veeam Free for VM Backups]
Private Game Server(s), one will definently use MySQL Server / Database


here is the catch, I'm completely new to all of this (server stuff) but I want to dive right in....it might be a bit of a project, but I like learning.





Server Requirements:
Running 24/7 (quiet for sure, it will be in a bedroom, small form factor maybe? doesn't have to be though)
Manage server securely through the web, serve media to our main tv (movies) with plex
Would like the server to be a router/firewall/ most of all traffic routed thru PIA (private internet access) for privacy concerns.

CS and/or BF4 Server (haven't decided yet)

Private MMO Server (will utilize mysql server & databases)

both will be running at the same time, hope that is they atleast have 30+ users or more with a goal of expanding / marketing myself. I would like the possibility of atleast 200-300 users on the MMORPG Server but it won't be immediately obviously.



Server hardware? Not even sure where to start....would like to know if all of this is even possible on one home server setup. I would like to do it with a budget in mind, but not even sure where to start, so I will leave that open for now. (no retarded overkill hardware though please lol)

Hope someone can help me out...mainly just need to know if all of this is possible on one machine and what hardware it will take and maybe tips from some experienced people

I'm pretty much running this exact setup minus the gaming server so I can't comment on the requirements of that. However, my Plex server gets hit HEAVILY (I have 25+ remote users, often times 6+ transcodes going at once).

My VM server is as follows:

Xeon D-1540 8-Core CPU (16 vCPUs)
64GB DDR4 2133Mhz RAM
4 onboard NICs (2 are 10GbE)
IBM ServeRAID 1015 HBA
2 x Intel 730 SSDs
1 x Sasmung S951 512GB AHCI SSD
4 x 8TB HDDs, 4 x 3TB HDDs (44TB raw storage)

I run the following VMs:

pfSense VM (running site-to-site VPN + OpenVPN client to AirVPN)
Backup VM (Veeam Backup + SyncBack)
Private Browse VM (this VM's Internet traffic all goes out AirVPN interface)
Windows Server 2K12R2 VM (AD, DNS, etc.)
unRAID VM (Plex, Madsonic, CouchPotato, Sonarr, NZBGet, DelugeVPN, PlexPy, PlexRequests, etc.)

The above VM's run 24/7.

Then I have 5-6 test VM's that I only power on when I'm testing.

With regard to hardware, I think the Xeon D-1540 is perfect for your needs. You can get it without the 10GbE if you don't need that to save money.

With regard to the networking you're looking to do, I'd recommend you read up a lot on pfSense as that is what's going to hold you back the most.

Look into this system. It's what I have (well before I move it to a rack mountable chassis to fit additional hard drives next week). It's small and quiet and an excellent value. You can also use the non-10GbE board with it to save you a few hundred bucks.

EDIT: Just thought I'd mention that since I just ordered my new rack chassis I'll be selling my SuperMicro mini server chassis next week in case you decide to go that route.
Edited by PuffinMyLye - 10/15/15 at 12:11pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
okay, I might throw you for a loop here....but is it also possible to encorporate all of this into maybe a workstation type build?

I was thinking I could build just one extreme computer that can handle all of this (take out the hypervisor idea with it being managed remotely) and implement this into a gaming desktop build as well and just run everything in vmware workstation / or virtual box. Theoretically this could be done with a powerful enough computer / enough ram, etc. as to not even put a dent in the gaming capability while all of this is running along side it right? It's not like it would be used for gaming all the time either.

I think the only issue I'm going to run into is having RAM limitations due to needing x16 pcie slots....unless there is a board out there that supports dual cpu/crazy amounts of ram/multiple pcie x16 slots?

So it would run 24/7 and do all of the above (except for the pfsense box, I would probably just relocate that to a seperate build for ~$400ish, including the 8port switch I want to get, and a wireless ap / new modem so I can stop renting my comcast modem.


So I would have potentially 7 wired devices - htpc that I just built, pfsense box, gaming rig/workstation build above?, and 1 smart-tv. - 2laptops that could be wired as well for whatever reason if needed.

The wireless AP would be used for when the 2 laptops are mobile, and 2-3 mobile phones in the house, 2 tablets (kids), and one tv connected wirelessly that I don't care if it doesn't have the best connectivity.
Edited by DefCoN - 10/23/15 at 7:33pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefCoN View Post

okay, I might throw you for a loop here....but is it also possible to encorporate all of this into maybe a workstation type build?

I was thinking I could build just one extreme computer that can handle all of this (take out the hypervisor idea with it being managed remotely) and implement this into a gaming desktop build as well and just run everything in vmware workstation / or virtual box. Theoretically this could be done with a powerful enough computer / enough ram, etc. as to not even put a dent in the gaming capability while all of this is running along side it right? It's not like it would be used for gaming all the time either.

I think the only issue I'm going to run into is having RAM limitations due to needing x16 pcie slots....unless there is a board out there that supports dual cpu/crazy amounts of ram/multiple pcie x16 slots?

So it would run 24/7 and do all of the above (except for the pfsense box, I would probably just relocate that to a seperate build for ~$400ish, including the 8port switch I want to get, and a wireless ap / new modem so I can stop renting my comcast modem.


So I would have potentially 7 wired devices - htpc that I just built, pfsense box, gaming rig/workstation build above?, and 1 smart-tv. - 2laptops that could be wired as well for whatever reason if needed.

The wireless AP would be used for when the 2 laptops are mobile, and 2-3 mobile phones in the house, 2 tablets (kids), and one tv connected wirelessly that I don't care if it doesn't have the best connectivity.

Take a look at this video. It might give you some ideas on what's possible using unRAID v6 with it's virtualization possibilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuJYMCbIbPk
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