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New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

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MadCoder

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:13 pm

New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

Well, I've been very excited to get my lab setup (or at least beginning setting it up)(I don't rush, things get screwed up that way) but nothing is going right...

Here's my complications: 

I have the new (used) boxx servers with this configuration:
CPU: 2 x Dual Core Xeon 3.04 ghz
Memory: 2 Machines have 4 gigs - 2 Machines have 8 gigs
Hardrives: 2 X 72 Gigs (RAID 5)
Minor notes: Dual gigabit adpaters, no remote management, cd-rom, ect...

Well, after the advice I received here. I decided to go with ESXi on two of the machines, but guess what?... Not Compatible. Go figure. 

Here's my current setup:
Image

WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW?

Problem 1:
I know one box will be Ubuntu 10.10 as my primary OS, however how should I configure the other boxes? I'm a little lost on where to go now, because I'm signing up the elearnsecurity cert classes as soon I get my network configured, hopefully sooner than later.

Problem 2:
Another problem.  I planned on my DD-WRT Linksys router to provide a wireless  internet connection bridged with my homes wireless, however it's not even close to working and I've deployed 20+ of these and this one is an anomaly. Can anyone suggest a more reliable wireless interface that can provide bridged access to my router?

Problem 3:
Another issue is space.  I was lucky enough to have a supportive wife to build a 640 sqft man cave.  So, I've allocated a section of the room for the equipment that won't kill the room's purpose.  Next to the MAME cabinet is where the desk and hopefully all the equipment will reside. I don't want it to look cluttered (that space is alot bigger than the picture 7ft from wall to MAME cabinet).

Image

So, does anyone have any techniques they've used to consolidate space for equipment?

PLEASE HELP. I'm ready to start elearning and backtrack courses.
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venom77

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

Well first, how are you running RAID 5 with only 2 drives? I didn't know that was possible.

You've got plenty of hardware for virtualization so the fact that ESXi won't install shouldn't slow you down in the least bit. As for host OS, my suggestion would be to install what you feel most comfortable with. You can use the remaining power for virtual systems and build/rebuild/destroy those as you please.

Problem 1: You really won't need a super intense lab setup to study the eLS course. You've got more than enough no matter how you decide to configure it.

Problem 2: What model router are you using? Why not just pick up another cheap wireless router that will run DD-WRT?

Problem 3: Not too sure on this one. My lab consists of only a few towers next to each other on a desk that's adjacent to my desk. Someone with a more robust setup may have some suggestions.
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MadCoder

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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:50 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

BillV

Thanks for pointing this out, you're right... If I remember correctly RAID 5 needs 3 of more disk.  That's what was posted on the ebay spec sheet, but I just rebuilt it before the Linux install for Raid 0 is didn't need mirroring.

Thanks for your help, I'll let you know how it all turns out.
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hayabusa

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:43 am

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

I'm in much the same boat as BillV for space.  My rackmount servers aren't racked, but rather 'stacked' beneath my desk.  My routers only come out of hiding for specific tests, etc.

Agreed, also, on VMWare...  If incompatble, then pick a host OS that you're comfortable with, and use Virtualbox or Hyper-V, or even KVM (or Xen) if your host is linux.  Lot's of options there.

Raid-5...  Yep, at least 3 drives.

And as noted, your lab is plenty for working with the eLearn stuff, as well as MOST of the online courses.  You'll be able to do plenty, with even a small subset of hardware, when you use virtualization.

As for the DD-WRT, unsure what went wrong, but you can replace / add a new one, pretty cheap.

Keep us posted as you build it out.  Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.
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"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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hayabusa

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:32 am

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

Note:  if I had a 7ft space like that, I'd personally build and stain a nice wooden cabinet, buy some rails, and setup a rack in it.  You could put a nice door on the front, and dress it out, nicely.  (Or buy a steel cabinet, with rack / rails, already, then just put a nice wood panel in front of it, or something.)

I know you don't want to delay setup, for now, but if I had even a semi-nice 'man cave,' with anywhere near that much available space, it's what I'd do, to keep it looking 'clean.'
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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venom77

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:35 am

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

Oh, and nice leg lamp, lol ;D
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hayabusa

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:49 am

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

<grin> Ok, I missed that one.  :-p. But I'm envious of his MAME cabinet, too.
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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rattis

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:34 am

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

While not as pretty, my man friends are usually pretty floored by my half rack with cisco switches and routers in it. I've had a few offer to buy it off me. The rack itself is on wheels. Look up Skeletek racks. I got mine off ebay at a decent price.

If the boxes have the VT compatible chips in them, you can go with a Xen install and still be able to run both environments. You could tack Xen on top of a Linux install, or you could get the bare-metal version and install it that way. However, employers (at least the ones I've talked to) want VMWare experience, and anything else, regardless of where or what ran on it doesn't count.

(Used Xen Server (Citrix) at my last job, running 80% of the production environment, and had interviewers tell me I didn't have any enterprise level experience using VMs).

You could also hit up the VMWare forums to figure out why ESXi isn't working.

As for setup. Unless the Ubuntu box is TLS / Server and going to be an actual server, I'd actually set them all up as Virtual Host boxes, with VM Guests on all of them.

As for your router, does it work in other configurations? As a stand alone, etc?
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MadCoder

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:48 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

The DD-WRT isn't acting as a repeater. It does work as a regular router though, but my main goal is to be wireless down there. I have a website that gets 700K+ hits a month, several android apps and a Roku channel that I would like to move my development down there as well, since they require a bit of dev time.

Skeletek. I just searched for and I only round the racks for cisco routers, which most cisco conform to 1U and 2U standards.  Before I purchase one, do you have 1U / 2U Mounted on this rack.  Here's the one I'm looking at:
http://www.dantraknet.com/item/120
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EJeanmaire

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:54 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

ESXi can be very picky, if it isn't on the HCL or someone hasn't posted working solutions in the forums, good luck.  I always check the Vmware HCL before picking up any lab gear.
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AndyB67

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:43 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

Which version of esx are you using?  If it's 4 or later, you may want to try 3.5 as it's a little less picky over hardware.
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MadCoder

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

Thanks Andy. I was using 4.2.x I will try 3 when I get home and let you know.
Thanks
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rattis

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:19 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

MadCoder wrote:The DD-WRT isn't acting as a repeater. It does work as a regular router though, but my main goal is to be wireless down there. I have a website that gets 700K+ hits a month, several android apps and a Roku channel that I would like to move my development down there as well, since they require a bit of dev time.

Skeletek. I just searched for and I only round the racks for cisco routers, which most cisco conform to 1U and 2U standards.  Before I purchase one, do you have 1U / 2U Mounted on this rack.  Here's the one I'm looking at:
http://www.dantraknet.com/item/120



the one I have

Only things I've put in mine are 1U routers and switches, and 4u shelves (think they were 4u). However re-looking at your hardware, Do they have rails or just ear tabs to mount them with. If they have rails you'll need the 4 post ones.
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MadCoder

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:26 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

They all have ear tabs. I think i have everything. Is that what you have yours mounted with?
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rattis

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Post Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: New Servers in - #$%@!! Nothing going right

MadCoder wrote:They all have ear tabs. I think i have everything. Is that what you have yours mounted with?


yeah. Has just 2 tabs that connect at the front of the routers and switches, and takes multiple screws to hold them in. Can get away with 2, but 4 work better.

Mine look sort of like this, but not quite
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