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Andrew S. Baker (ASB)


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Home Network Virtualization Project, Part 2

When I wrote , I didn't realize that I actually had an . I created it last October, but never posted it -- for reasons which completely escape me right now. I suppose that I was waiting until I actually performed the upgrades at the end year before I would post it.

With just a couple of exceptions, this diagram is pretty accurate, though.  For one thing, the matter of a surviving Intel Pentium2-400 which has not yet been replaced by an AMD Sempron 3400+, although I have the motherboard and case sitting in a corner of my lab.  The diagram also doesn't reflect my device that's getting full.

As I mentioned in my previous post, however, it's the new changes that I'm contemplating that will have a significant impact on my network configuration.  I really need to look at virtualization so that I can consolidate my five existing servers down to two, while still obtaining better performance and redundancy.

While nothing would please me more than being able to get a couple of as my virtual hosts, I'll be able to get a bit more merchandise for the money by going with a custom server builder, like:

I'd even be willing to settle for a , but they're not selling any of the configurations that I desire...

The config below is what I'm aiming for:

Virtualization Host: 4-6 VMs w/Local Storage

Server Chassis:

2U Server Chassis w/6 Hot-Swap Drives  (e.g. HP DL380/385)


Dual Proc -- 2.0+ Ghz Dual Core CPU with large CPU cache


8GB RAM - Dual Channel

Disk 0:

120GB Hard Disk (SATA II)

Disk 1:

120GB Hard Disk (SATA II)

Disk 2:

250GB Hard Disk (SATA II)

Disk 3:

250GB Hard Disk (SATA II)

Disk 4:

250GB Hard Disk (SATA II)

Disk 5:

250GB Hard Disk (SATA II)

Disk Controller:

Multi-Channel RAID Controller (RAID1, RAID10)

Optical Drive:


Floppy Drive:

Standard 1.44MB Floppy


GigE Network Card  (2 each)


Standard Server Video

Power Supply:

Redundant Power Supply



OS Support:

Windows Server 2003 R2, x64 Standard Edition

Other Software:

VMWare Server -OR- Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2



The other device I really, really need on my network at this point is a nice iSCSI SAN.  Of course, there are many ways to go about getting one.  I could go with an appliance like an , or I could roll my own via the Looking at my current storage utilization, I have about 2TB of data stashed across different devices on the network.  And it's growing daily as I add streaming audio and video from various Internet broadcasts. 

From a budgeting standpoint, this proposed network upgrade is definitely non-trivial. So far, I'm coming up with $3-4K per server in this arrangement.  And a decent iSCSI SAN can range from $2K to $12K for the 6 to 8TB of storage that I'd like to put together.  (Besides current storage requirements, I'm very interested in performing .)

That puts this project in the $6-22K range, depending on how new the equipment is, how much of it I put together myself, and how much software is involved. My timeframe is March/April 2008, but it's a matter of funding or time, and presently, I lack both...  Big Smile

That's not going to stop me from refining this plan as I close out the year.  I have a similar project going on at work right now, on a larger scale, and I'll get a better idea of what my options are by the time that bigger project is complete.

Share Post:
Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2007 7:24 PM by Logik!


Logik! said:

I'm going to have to look into Open-E DSS some more. It might be an option if I go the custom, build-to-order hardware route:


# October 14, 2007 10:26 PM

Eagle117 said:

Are you sure you want Standard Server on there? I was under the impression that with Microsoft's virtualization you were only allowed one virtual server with standard, 4 virtual servers with Advanced, and unlimited with Datacenter.

# October 15, 2007 10:31 AM

Logik! said:

Good point, but I have sufficient licenses either way.

What running Enterprise Edition will get me is the ability to run 4 instances on a single box from a single license, rather than needed 4 separate licenses.

In most cases, getting 6-8 Standard licenses will cost less than two Enterprise licenses, so I'll still be ahead of the curve...

# October 16, 2007 7:00 AM

Eagle117 said:

Interesting. I did not interpret their website in that way.

# October 16, 2007 3:35 PM

Logik! said:

Yep... Check out the Virtualization FAQ:


I've also been directed to look at MySAN from Nimbus software for building my own SAN:



I'm very intrigued about this possibility, as I only have to obtain a chassis and some hard drives...

# October 19, 2007 7:10 AM

Talking Out Loud with ASB said:

After many months, and a few miscellaneous upgrades to other parts of my network, I'm finally about to

# March 31, 2008 4:50 PM

Talking Out Loud with ASB said:

On June 26, Microsoft released Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008 to manufacturing. You can download it

# July 1, 2008 9:42 PM

Vadim Nekhai said:

You can find another iSCSI SAN Solution at http://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-enterprise-server.

StarWind also has free 2TB limited version (this is enough for home). You can find it at http://www.starwindsoftware.com/free

# September 7, 2009 7:37 AM

Logik! said:


Thanks for the links to StarWindSoftware.  Those look like some great options.  I'll be trying that out soon.

# September 9, 2009 7:18 AM

Talking Out Loud with ASB said:

This is the sixth part in a series of articles tracking the implementation of virtualization on my home network

# February 22, 2010 12:11 AM

vicky said:

Interesting post. Network virtualization help value-added resellers (VARs) and consultants virtualize business LANs and WANs for their customers.

# March 22, 2010 7:38 PM
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About Logik!

Andrew S. Baker aka ASB aka Logik!

Andrew S. Baker is a business-savvy, hands-on IT leader with expertise in mentoring people, mitigating risk, and integrating technology to drive innovation and maximize business results. He creates competitive advantage for organizations through effective IT leadership: implementation of processes and controls, and architecture of robust business solutions.

Mr. Baker has successfully led a number of high-performance technology teams in designing, deploying and maintaining secure, cost-effective computing environments for well-known companies, including Warner Music Group, The Princeton Review, Bear Stearns, About.com, and Lewco Securities.

For over a decade, Andrew has exhibited thought leadership on technology and business topics via mailing lists, technical forums, blogs, and professional networking groups, along with contributions to podcasts, webinars, and over 20 technical/business magazine articles. He also serves on several boards and committees for non-profit organizations, and within the Seventh-day Adventist church.

His personal interests include Astronomy, Basketball, Bible Study, Chess, Comics, Computers, Family Life Ministries, Reading, Strategy/Role Playing games, and Professional Networking...

A summary of Andrew's current résumé is available here, and he can be reached on a variety of social and professional networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.