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Future Computer Thoughts – Questions - RonO's Ramblings

Sep. 4th, 2010 10:46 am Future Computer Thoughts – Questions

My current linux box that, among other things, hosts http://www.ron-oakes.us (and as of yesterday its alias http://www.robot-grrl.net) is probably dying.  At this moment I can no longer get graphics to work (which may be a KVM issue, but I have my doubts –  and haven’t tried a kvm port swap to see if it fixes the problem or not), and has some other issues.  It is a bit long in the tooth and I suspect that a rebuild could give me a lot more horsepower.

One thing I’m considering if I do rebuild it would be to build it differently – on the software side.  Instead of having one physical machine, I’d rebuild it into a fairly lightweight virtual machine host (using an free solution) that then supports separate virtual machines that would serve as the e-mail server – possibly migrating us back off of gmail if I can get our phone integration fixed so that it doesn’t kill the battery and still gives reasonable update frequency – and two web servers and probably a file server for things like home folders (which could also be the host).

However, I’m mostly unsure so far how to pull this off.  The biggest thing is that if I want separate external facing web servers, I need to somehow have separate external identities.  What I’m not sure is if there will be a way to configure a single NIC so that it will receive all of the traffic from multiple static IP addresses (I think I can get three more from my ISP without having to pay more), and then route them to the virtual NICs according to what the destination IP was.  I’m 99% sure that this should be something the virtual host can do – at least with an add-on.  But I would need to configure this.

So my questions for or requests for suggestions from my friends are:

  • How powerful of a computer should I have to do this?  Are 2 cores sufficient, or should I go for 4.
  • What would be the best Virtual Machine host – presumably running on Linux of some flavor – to use.
  • Any suggestions on how to best configure the sites.
  • Any other advice (up to and including “you are insane – just build a new linux box”).

2 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry


Date:September 5th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
I'm running Ubuntu with a Windows VM, using Virtual Box... I have no issues at all getting the VM on the network under it's own identity with it's own IP address using a network bridge.

You might want to hit Kalchik up on chat to see what he'd recommend setting up, as he has the most experience of anyone I know with VM's (and walked me thru setting mine up in the first place, which I've tweaked and reinstalled since then.)
Date:September 5th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
You want an Intel chip - they tend to run cooler and use less power than the AMD chips (at least, the last time I looked at AMD). Either the Core2 Duo or Core2 Quad (Intel calls them the Core i3 and Core i5 now) would be fast enough for what you want to do, but I would suspect that the quad would be a better choice for a VM host. Load as much memory on the beast as you can afford (and maybe even a little more than that).