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A Lot of work ahead.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

A Lot of work ahead.

Again I am completely changing my network, never happy. My physical Linux and Windows servers are being combined using Citrix Xenserver and the free rackmount chassis will become a Freenas box. I am doing this so I will be free to expand and play with different servers without physically having to play with servers.
This project has been brought forward as the motherboard in my Windows server died recently and I have a lot of half finished work on there I cannot currently access.
First job is ongoing and is to backup the current Linux webserver.
Secondly I will dismantle that server (a P4) and install the 2 shiny new 1Tb hard disks (Raid 1) along with a small boot drive and set up the Freenas box.
Once that is complete I will start the job of transferring everything from the disks in my broken Windows server and my desktop machine onto the fileserver. This will take a while.
After that I will be able to dismantle the desktop machine (AMD Phenom Quad) and build it into the rack mount chassis to become the Xen host before setting up the two servers again as virtual machines.
I have picked up a Belkin network USB hub and a couple of USB to serial adapters which will solve the problem of me needing usb/serial ports on my windows server for my ups, printer, cisco 2611 etc. as Citrix will not allow me to use the physical ports on the host machine.
I also have a box of Cat 5e so I can run 12 cables from the patch panel upstairs in the cabinet to a new wall mount panel I picked up and will be mounting downstairs where my switch etc. is. This will solve the problem of always looking for more cables between the 2 locations.
The ironic thing about all this is that when I am finished I will be left with a 6 year old 1.5Ghz laptop as my desktop machine (at least for a short time).
Time to get to work!
32 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Freenas can see the new gigabit card and the 2 x 1Tb disks on the Raid card. Off to a good start  Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Well Sean, looks like you got your work cut out mate!
Be sure to keep your site updated with the new design - I drop by every now and again for inspiration Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Yes, I am getting through the work slowly but surly. After having issues with Freenas I decided to go with what I know and trust, CentOS for the fileserver. That bit is up and running perfectly, I spent a long time testing and then doing more testing with that.
Now I am playing with the Citrix server.
I will update my website when everything is set up the way I want it. Currently the site is down with a message explaining why as I will only host it on my home web server.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Quote from: Sean
Yes, I am getting through the work slowly but surly.

I know it is considered rude to point out spelling mistakes but the phrase "slowly but surly" conjures up such an amusing image of a task that is not going well!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

My spelling was never much good. I know I could use Chrome to get around that but I don't like it. Anyway I personally don't attach much importance to accurate spelling in an informal setting.
The project is going well. It is just taking some time as I like to test everything at every stage and make sure it is going to all work as planned. Being just a personal project, only a small amount of time each day can be set aside for it unfortunately.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,846
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Quote from: Sean
.... I personally don't attach much importance to accurate spelling in an informal setting....

Yes, I agree.  It's just sometimes when everything is going wrong, taking much longer than you expected and you end up in a foul mood muttering curses under your breath then the phrase "slowly but surly" would seem to be a very apt description.
Anyway, I'm glad that is not the case and things are going well.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Yes, I have got to the stage where the CentOS fileserver is up (including the firewall for the wireless bridge) and the Xenserver host is up. I am currently running my website of one of the VM's. Appears to be working well, only visible difference is in the server info page. Both physical servers are now back up in the cabinet in the attic and not on my bedroom floor!
I will be taking the site down again as I want to set up the VM's differently and I still need to run the extra cables. Currently I have a bundle of small switches joined together to get everything working, not exactly the final objective.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

I have updated the diagram for my site before even finishing the work I had set aside or updating the site!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Interesting setup Sean.. I'm still interested in your long range wireless setup though.. you need to tell more about that at some time.
I'm tempted to bring my network back up online but at the moment I have no need for any of the other machines.. apart from running VM's. I'd be tempted though to try running my network off a 3G dongle just to see how well it all copes with that type of connection. Will need to bring forward my mini-itx router based plans for that though as I don't like the thought of using a full blown fan based PC for that purpose.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

I am pretty sure I have seen routers specifically for USB dongles that would maybe be less expensive than building a mini-itx machine and definitely less work!
As for the long range wireless, that is quite simple, just a couple of Dlink access points, external directional antennas and antenna extension cables. All the bits are listed on the drawing. Total cost was about £400 (about 6 years ago when I set this up).
You could probably use newer access points now as the old DWL900AP's I am using run at a max 22Mbps (8Mbps real world when tested some time ago).
I am only spanning a gap of just under 1km but this equipment will span many miles with perfect line of sight.
Set up originally because my friend was outside the range of the "new" ADSL broadband service but I was just within the range. That has all changed since and the bridge is now used entirely by me. The second internet gateway on the network has proved incredibly useful for various reasons.
Community Veteran
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Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Quote from: Sean
I am pretty sure I have seen routers specifically for USB dongles that would maybe be less expensive than building a mini-itx machine and definitely less work!

Yep, you're right but there was a reason for it... Living in rented accomodation has its pitfalls with internet connections. Phone line takes a while to activate, then the ADSL..
I had an idea... build a multi connection router using a mini-itx system that could basically handle everything:
USB 3g dongle
PCI 56k modem
USB/PCI wifi with AP mode
USB/PCI DSL modem
Coupled with a bit of software called Nat32, I figured it would just about cover everything needed but would be small enough and powerful enough to provide full ICS capability as well as full windows configuration, software installs, programming etc. All it would need is a long power cord, dump it in the loft and run a cat5 cable down to a switch.
In reality 3G dongles have taken away the need for it.. but then 3G doesn't work everywhere so the other connection options are still viable.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Here is something that may interest you: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/239648
Although all your modems would need to be USB it would definitely keep the electric bill down. NAT32 looks interesting. It is a long time since I have done ICS on a Windows machine but I do remember the built in option being very basic and limited.
I am using a Cisco for NAT now, incredibly versatile once you get you head around it. Although now I could do without NAT completely as when I moved to AAISP I got 32 public IP's! I am going to keep using NAT for most things except a couple on VM's as it provides a good firewall. I do need to use up as many public IP's as I can though or else they will reduce my block after the first year.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,345
Thanks: 685
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

Interesting bit of kit that. Oneof the things I liked about the itx idea was that I could build it myself and contain all the extra hardware inside a plastic box. Must be said though that the shuttle does look a tempting bit of kit with so much power and fanless...
32 public IP's eh? - Incredible... now I see why you're using cisco. I've got a cisco router sat in my storage locker that I've had to store most of my stuff in (tiny house, tons of computers and car parts = problem). I shall have to look into that at some point..
Nat32 is a very interesting bit of software. Unfortunately the author is a bit of a sausage... doesn't answer emails easily etc..which put me off buying.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
oliverb
Grafter
Posts: 606
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: A Lot of work ahead.

I seem to recall Draytek Routers supported many 3G dongles, from about the 2800 series onwards I think.
The current generation of Billion routers may too...