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Building the perfect Proxmox VE server


Hi everybody and welcome to today’s video
episode of Bernardo’s Tech Blog. Today I’m going to demonstrate how you can
build a perfect server for running Proxmox Virtualization
Environment, otherwise known as Proxmox VE. Just in case you don’t already know
what that is, Proxmox is basically a hypervisor. It is built on Debian Linux and it
includes two different virtualization
technologies namely KVM and OpenVZ, and then it
puts on a fantastic web-based administration interface. So you can use this system to host
virtual servers or virtual machines. Now the title this video is a little bit
misleading there’s really no such thing as a
universally perfect server. Everybody’s needs are a little different
and so with that in mind I just want to give you what my
objectives were in building this server. First of all the hardware needs to be
compatible with the latest version of Proxmox VE and that happens to be version 3.0
currently. and I want to be able to just install it
and not have to mess with any extra drivers. The server also has to be a sufficient
speed and power to host three or four linux guests and possibly more in the
future. The server needs to be rackmount and
also needs to be short depth because I want to be able to mount in a two-post rack as opposed to a
four-post rack that would be required if the server is
rather deep. The motherboard in the server also needs to
have a remote management consule so I can shut down and make BIOS configuration changes and restart
and so forth from remote. Lastly I wanted the server to use
standard off-the-shelf components as opposed to proprietary stuff that you have trouble finding in the
event you need a part. If you’d like to have a complete parts
list for this server head on over to my blog. I’m going to put a
link in the description of this video that will get you there
and I have the model numbers of everything that I used in that blog
post. For the purposes this video I’ll just give you the general
description of the parts I used.
I started out with a Norco case This is a 2U case – it’s about 16 inches
deep and is obviously rackmount. I’ve used this
one before I’m pretty pleased with it I’ve also done a separate review of this case
in another video if you’re interested. The first thing I added to the case is a drive cage from iStarUSA.
This is a very tight fit – you almost have to stand on this cage to get it.
In fact, you might have to do that.
But once it’s in there it works very well basically takes 2 5.25 inch drive
bays and gives you three hot-swap 3.5 inch bays. As far as power supplies go, when you
buy a power supply for this case you have to be sure that it has fans on the
front and/or on the back as opposed to the top
or the bottom. A lot of the higher wattage power
supplies nowadays have big fans at the top or the bottom and
if you use those it will be blocked by the edges on the case. So make sure you get one that has fans
in the front and back. For a processor I’m using an AMD Opteron six-core processor. This motherboard will also
take an 8-core, although if you get a model that
has a really early firmware version you may have to
update the firmware before will support such a processor.
I put in two eight-gigabyte RAM chips for a total of 16-gigabyte.
this motherboard will take at least 32 gigabyte – I’m not sure if it will go any higher
than that or not but for my purposes right now 16 is
gonna be fine. Now for a heatsink, the first thing I tried
was a Supermicro fanless heat sink that you see here and I
thought maybe there was enough airflow that I could get by with the using this but that didn’t turn out too well – it
did actually start up and run without overheating, but even with a very small load
it was running very hot and I didn’t want to continue that way so I swapped it out
with a Dynatron heatsink and fan. They sell a number of them
that are designed for 2U server cases and they have the side-to-side
air flow as opposed to top-to-bottom. This case is pretty tight – you won’t
get a full-size ATX into it – only a micro-ATX or a mini-ITX. It’s helpful to take
out the internal drive bays at least long enough
to get the motherboard mounted. I use the Supermicro motherboard with an
IP management console and I also put in a RAID card so I can
run two drives at the same time and have all the data
mirrored between them and lastly we put on the top cover and
here’s the finished product. Now this server is currently running three
Linux servers as guests. and it really doesn’t tax the hardware much
at all – I think I could probably put 10 servers on here if I wanted to as
long as the 16-gigabyte of ram held out. If you
have any questions feel free to put them in the comments. Again, there’s a link in the
description that will get you to my blog post that will have more details. As always thanks for watching and I’ll
see you next time!

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