Monday, 26 May 2014

Home ESXi Server - Part 3

Okay so it's been quite a while, I'll admit it :-)

However something I have still been thinking about is a home ESXi server. Since I last posted on this topic I've setup my existing hardware as a FreeNAS server. The primary reason for this is that getting some stable storage was the most pressing need I had at the time. The FreeNAS box has been brilliant - super stable and exactly what I was after.

More recently I've had some other hardware available at home for a while so I've been experimenting with VMWare ESXi 5.5u1 to see how it would play out in practice. I've been pretty happy so far with how easy it is to setup. I'm currently running a Windows Server 2008 R2 instance which is running iTunes for the sole purpose of serving my Apple TV with media from the FreeNAS box (Since the Apple TV can't pick up files off a share by itself ><).

Now that I'm kind of getting a feel for what I can do with it I'm just starting to think about what the final structure will look like.

At the moment I'm thinking I'll want the following:

1: An external firewall/gateway
2: VPN access
3: A DMZ for webservers, etc.
4: A second firewall to interface between the DMZ and the internal network

I can achieve all these things on the same ESX host. Yes I'm aware of the security limitations of keeping everything on a single host, however for home-purposes I think this will suffice.

In addition to these key items I'll be wanting to run the following server:

 - directory server
 - the aforementioned AppleTV supplier
 - a Windows instance to run Repetier Host for my 3D printer (this will require USB passthrough)

I've got to sit down and work out a design so that I know what hardware I'll need (number of physical NIC's, etc.) Once I've got that sorted I can get the hardware and then start the configuration and build process :-)

I'll try post regularly here as I go.

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