Virtualisation and home automation

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Virtualisation and home automation

Postby structor » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:14 am

I see more and more persons on this forum use virtualisation. I thought it could be convenient to have a central place to discuss about virtualisation and home automation.

Since a month I have the following hardware setup.
    - Intel Pentium G620
    - Intel Desktop Board DQ67OWB3
    - Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter
    - Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX, 2TB
    - Western Digital Scorpio Black WD3200BEKT
    - Fractal Design Core 1000
    - be quiet! Pure Power L7 300W
    - Kingston KVR1333D3N9K4/16G

The server is running ESXi. At this moment the box is running the following virtual machines:
    - file/backup server on ubuntu 11.10,
    - sharpservice (my backend HA server) on ubuntu 11.10
    - sharpcontrol (my webfrontend HA server) on ubuntu 11.10
    - sharpservicetest (my backend HA server) on ubuntu 11.10
    - sharpcontroltest (my webfrontend HA server) on ubuntu 11.10
    - plugwise on winxp
    - pfSense a firewall distribution (work in progress, not fully functional yet.)
    - gitorious (a version control system) on ubuntu 11.10

The energy use of the box is roughly 36-38W (until the moment the mono worker under apache derails then my peak usage is 52W). My main reasons to build up this virtual machine is to have the important processes in my house under more finegrained control. All these virtual machines were previously running as processes on my media centre. Which worked until I decided I needed to upgraded some software. Very often I could then play sysadmin for a while because some of the fundamental processes in my house stopped working.

I am quite happy with the virtualisation I have currently done. I have a complete test environment on which I can test my changes to my HA-software before I bother the rest of my family. (I once deployed a software version which left the hall light downstairs in a one minute blink mode, my wife was not happy :D )

I also see some additional opportunities to automate some more. The Esxi has a cool Api, so I am building some software that all my computers in my house will show up in my HA-system. So I can control them (e.g. switch them on and off). E.g. the test environment only has the up and running when I am home.

I was wondering what other users on this forum have as virtual setups, why they have it and what they do with it. Some users have blogged about it (Digit, Maarten) but probably more people have setups like these. I hope we can have some cool discussions here about virtualisation and where you can go with it.
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Re: Virtualisation and home automation

Postby Edwin2008 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:22 pm

which version of esxi are you using?
be aware of the wd caviar green, they are slooooow and fail quite regular.
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Re: Virtualisation and home automation

Postby structor » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:23 pm

I am currently still in my eval period, but it must still ask for a license key for the free version (of 5).

One of my virtuals is a backup server, which is backing up to an external disk. I have two of those disks which are cycled and stored offsite... So that covers the failure problem, the slowness is not too important to me. The only thing which is actually bothering me is that i don't get that disk in to spin down mode. It's mounted by the file/backup server through rdm, so in principle the vm should be able to spin it down, but I am too stupid to get it accomplished ;).
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Re: Virtualisation and home automation

Postby Edwin2008 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:05 pm

i've decided to use ESXi-V4 because it is 64b like V5 but i was not able to get the esxi host do a ntp time sync. In v4 it is a simple selection box which is disappeared in v5 esxi. A quick search on internet revealed that the option is removed in the free version but not in the full version so i stick to v4 for now.
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Re: Virtualisation and home automation

Postby Mdamen » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:17 pm

I do have time sync in ESXi 5.0:

timesync.png
timesync.png (21.12 KiB) Viewed 819 times


Did you grab this version? http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere- ... rview.html
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Re: Virtualisation and home automation

Postby Edwin2008 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:41 pm

The iso i downloaded at march 27th this year was VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.0.0-469512.x86_64 It seem's that this is the same version as your showing in your screenshot. From which period is your license, mine is from march 27th 2012.
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