Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Finally got all the hardware pieces for my new workstation: i7-3770 (non-k), Intel DQ77MK and 32GB DDR3. I'll be unwrapping and assembling them in the the coming days though most likely that will be only on Friday :(

These will go along with 2x 200GB SATA Maxtor HDD and 1x SSD Intel 330. For the moment I'll keep the PSU and case but most likely will be getting a new PSU (and probably case) in the future as I want to keep noise and power consumption as low as possible.

Depending on the power consumption and my ability to setup a proper XEN/KVM environment with PCI pass-through I might decommission my FreeBSD server and virtualize it.

The coming weeks I'll be messing with hardware settings and benchmarking. In late August I expect to be able to have an initial XEN/KVM environment with VGA pass-through for ET.

The new workstation setup should be able to:
  • Run Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
    • Benchmarking with my demo should give at least 120FPS else I'll have to look into getting a dedicated GPU
    • Should run on x86_64 in bare metal though as I've blogged early I doubt this is possible
    • Should run on Linux/FreeBSD x86_64 or i686 under a VGA passthrough VM
  • Run 5 VM concurrently
    • FreeBSD VM as a testing ground for my FreeBSD server
    • General purpose VM for web surfing, adming and gaming running Linux (CentOS, Debian and Gentoo are the likely candidates pending HD4000 driver availability)
    • CentOS VM as a testing ground for my laptop and rpm package rebuilding
    • Linux VM for security purposes
    • CentOS or Debian host
The following are projects that I'd like to run on the machine :
  • File-sharing FreeBSD VM with direct access to disk controller with PCI pass-through running Samba/NFS, SSH and OwnCloud. This would imply adding my 3x 1TB SATA HDD and most likely upgrade them to WD Red HDD and going for ZFS
  • Router VM running on one of the two NIC provided by the motherboard. This VM could be CentOS, DD-WRT or OpenWRT
  • Personal CentOS/RHEL repository
  • Run ET, RTCW Demo, UT and Ventrilo servers
  • Play Doom3, RTCW (online) and Wolfenstein: Quake Wars (online) with stable 100FPS
  • Segmentation of VMs (DMZ, different LAN segments, etc)
This means I need to delve on virtualization using XEN or KVM being XEN the most likely candidate. Plus this also means I have learn much more related to networking as the motherboard has 2 NIC which I want to take advantage of.

To have everything running it will takes ages, most likely years due to both my availability and knowledge gaps.

Big challenge!

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