Happy TKL Fileserver user here :D Always a single instance on bare metal. When I needed extra functionality, I just installed the package. (perhaps not compliant with the TKL filosophy). 

I want to make a move to virtualization. So I can test diffent appliances, make em work together, find out how this stuff works. I did a couple of things on AWS, but our internet is not reliable enough.

Any advice on how to start??

Jeremy Davis's picture

What is your plan to upgrading to a virtualisation platform? Do you want to re-purpose your current hardware (or get new hardware explicitly for running VMs on)? E.g. by installing some sort of Hypervisor operating system? Or are you planning on just running VMs on an existing desktop?

If you plan to go the hardware route (either existing assuming that it is 64 bit capable machine or new that is 64 bit capable) then I would recommend ProxmoxVE. It's an open source Hypervisor. If you don't purchase a subscription (i.e. use it without paying, which is totally legitimate) then it has a nag box when you log in, but I just click "ok" and carry about my business. Unlike many (all?) of it's competitors PVE supports both VMs (so you can install a Windows VM is you desire; it uses KVM - requires CPU virtualisation support - either VT-x or AMD-V) and containers (via LXC - no special hardware requirements beyond 64 bit).

Another bonus of PVE is that all the current TurnKey appliances are avaialble for download without leaving (the web based) UI! :)

Please post back if you have further questions or if that isn't your plan and my suggestion isn't relevant... It'd also be great to hear how things go even if you do go the PVE route.

The plan is: I want to be able to run TKL fileserver (max 10 users), and a windows environment (5 users, to provide legacy ms-access apps). I also foresee some Domain controller in future. Maybe a document mgt sys. Besides this, I want to be able to quickly roll out (TKL) appliances for testing, without preparing bare metal everytime. So I guess virtualization may be in order.

I was thinking about buying a pretty basic Intel NUC ($300) or maybe repurpose an old laptop, to setup a test environment. Hypervisors I am considering are VMWare and Proxmox.

But I have the feeling I am missing some pieces of the puzzle. If, for example, I have multiple TKL appliances, how do they work together? I cannot visualize the complete architecture yet.

When lab is working and I feel comfy, I want to upgrade production hardware.

Jeremy Davis's picture

So I won't bang on about Proxmox anymore; although being able to use containers is a big plus for performance (containers have about 5% overhead as opposed to VMs with more like 15-25% overhead).

I don't know much about VMware hardware requirements but as I said above to get the best out of Proxmox (and support Win VMs) you'll need VT-x/AMD-V CPU and motherboard support. AFAIK all AMD CPUs from the last ~7 years provide AMD-V; however Intel chips are a case-by-case basis. E.g. AFAIK none of the gen 1 & 2 Atom chips supported it but newer ones do; many, but not all Core2Duo & Core2Quads did. I think all the i5 & i7 do; I think most i3 do too but not all, the newer Pentiums (aka modern day Celerions) don't AFAIK. The Intel chips also require motherboards that support it (although AFAIK most from last ~6yrs do - but best to check). So make sure you check that out. I got burned years ago when I upgraded from a Core2Duo (that did) to what appeared to be a much better (and more expensive) Core2Quad that ended up didn't support it...

WRT to integrating TKL apps; currently they don't really integrate; although you can use NFS to map Linux users across appliances (there is a gotcha WRT to using cNFS with containers but I won't go into that). But as most applications run on a webserver, they rarely use Linux users and instead have their own independent user systems. Having said that many webapps have LDAP authentication plugins. FWIW Windows AD (and/or Samba4 on Linux; as well as OpenLDAP) provides LDAP authentication and Linux can also use LDAP authentication so that may be a good option? I personally don't know a lot about it, but we do have a community member who has helped us maintain our OpenLDAP appliance and himself uses LDAP authentication across appliances so he may be willing and able to assist?

I have an old laptop with AMD A8-4500m. It has 4 cores, 64bit, supports virtualization. I have 16G RAM and I can use a 200GB SSD for fast storage. I will have to find out how to prevent the computer going to sleep when lid closes and some other issues.

Now where is that small screwdriver, I left it here somewhere...

Jeremy Davis's picture

Personally I'd install Proxmox and have a play... By default it will use (and format) any harddrives connected at the time so I recommend that you don't have any external harddrives connected and backup anything important first!

I installed 16G RAM and a clean SSD. Downloaded the Proxmox 4.1 ISO.

Took me sometime to get the system booting from USB. Safeboot, UEFI, USB 2/3, Legacy USB, ... Had to resort to osforensics.com ImageUSB software to create a booting USB stick.

Install is like next, next, next

But I couldn't find any Turnkey templates from within Proxmox. A bit of googling adviced to ssh into the box and run pveam update (no idea what that is). I also did apt-get update/upgrade. Afterwards it gave me Turnkey templates to download. 

This is where I got so far. TTYL

Jeremy Davis's picture

I use Proxmox quite a bit myself and the TurnKey templates list should update daily. Although perhaps on a clean install it doesn't auto update the list; at least initially?

Out of interest, another user had to manually run "pveam update" to be able to see the TurnKey apps so perhaps there is some issue with Proxmox wrt to the auto list updates?

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