Home Server – What do I want?

What service do I want to run on my Home Server?

I do have a NAS already which has the following services: File Sharing (Samba, AFS and NFS), Media Streaming Server (DLNA), VPN Server, Cloud Sync Repository. So I do not intend to have redundant services on my Home Server. What is left?

My Home Server could support:

  • Backup: Having a proper backup of all important files from the NAS and our laptop. Implementations: rdiff-backup, Box Backup, fwbackups*, duplicity*, rsnapshot or storeBackup.
  • (N)-IDS: As I have services open to the internet, I want to take some precautions and check that no exploits is taken advantage of. I am not sure this is enough, but it is the least I can do. Implementations: AIDE or Suricata.
  • DNS cache/server: I am thinking of hosting my own DNS server to perform some caching and hopefully enhance a bit the browsing experience in terms of performance. Though I would need to benchmark this to make sure I have any gain as I suspect my old router to do some caching. Implementation: dnsmasq.
  • DHCP server: My home router is a Netgear WG614 and its features for what concern DHCP are fairly limited, having my home server addressing this issue is a nice idea (until we get a better router). I could be even tightly coupled with the DNS server (see earlier bullet point) so that one could use hostname within the local network. Implementation: dnsmasq.
  • Syslog server
  • Maybe – ownCloud: maybe one day I would prefer to use an open source solution for Cloud Sync rather than the closed source one from my NAS vendor.

*: FreeBSD support is uncertain.

As one can see, I could use Linux or BSD based OS or a mixture. However, ZFS is so compelling that I am seriously considering to go for FreeBSD+jails and basta cosi! February will be the month where I try to set-up a FreeBSD server.

My Future Home Server – Part 1

I have finally my Home Server built, it has its first storage hard drive and I upgraded the memory to something decent. Time to install the operating system.

I am not yet fully decided which operating system to implement on my Home Server, I would love ZFS as a file system for managing my storage, but I would still want to use Linux and not make the full switch to BSD. I decided to go for Fedora as the main OS, and install BSD in a virtual machine and see how this setup performs.

I had tried for a few month Fedora 17 in a virtual machine, I liked it, although I prefer the Debian package manager over yum, but this is really based on my own feelings and not on technical grounds.

So let’s go and install Fedora 18 (just released) on my server.

Continue reading “My Future Home Server – Part 1”

Home Server: The Concept

I’m currently looking for an elegant and easy to maintain solution for the following Home Server concept:

Running several VMs on top of an hypervisor.

As told, I have acquired a small server. I want to run on top 2 sets of services:

  • A back-up service;
  • A cloud synchronisation service (à la Dropbox).

I want to use virtualisation as I want each service in a dedicated sandbox. I’m not interested in containment style virtualisation because:

  • I probably will be adding new hardware nodes in some years as I will probably want to run other services;
  • I might be trying some of the *BSD OS, although I will be running Linux OS only.

Here are some technologies I want to investigate to see if some fit my needs:

Planning for a Home Server installation

I just order an HP Proliant MicroServer N40L and my plan is to convert it in a Home server using virtualisation. It is the first step stone of my own personal cloud infrastructure. The idea is to have a core server on top of which I can launch VMs when needed.

What is cloud computing?

Original author: AJ Ashton | License: CC Public Domain
What is?
For a short and quick answer, cloud computing is moving your computer experience from your desktop to the internet (the cloud!).

From the consumer of computing services perspective, it means having those services accessible from the internet:

  • Online application (e.g. Google Mail, Google Docs, etc.) ;
  • Online storage (e.g. S3Fox + Amazon S3, Flickr, Apple MobileMe, etc.) ;
  • Online services (e.g. Google Maps, Airline reservation, etc.).

From an IT person or software developer perspective, it means that you deploy your application on a (potential virtual) infrastructure or platform on the internet:

  • Virtual infrastructure or grid (e.g. Sun Grid, Amazon EC2, though both have their own specificities) ;
  • Platform (e.g. Google Apps Engine) ;
  • Identity verification, storage, payments, etc.

Commercial virtualisation product available for Ubuntu

A bit more than a month ago Spring just started, but it is so hot and sunny now that it feels already like Summer. Summer means much more outside activities and fewer inside topics: less blogging and less playing with Ubuntu.

Anyway from time to time, I still find opportunities to discover a new side of Ubuntu and to write about it. Today is about a recent update in the Ubuntu repositories that enabled the first commercial package: VMware Server.

Continue reading “Commercial virtualisation product available for Ubuntu”